3rd November, 2015
South African police officers who killed a suspected robber by shooting him in the head as he lay on the ground have handed themselves in after a surveillance video of the act was broadcast, the police said.
The footage released over the weekend by The Sunday Times newspaper shows a uniformed member of the South African Police Service (SAPS) shoot the unidentified man in the head at point blank range after he had been shot in the shoulder and chest.
The suspect was already lying on the pavement after the bullet to his shoulder felled him as he fled from the police, the video showed as blood from the man’s head formed a pool on the pavement shortly after the shots to the chest and head.
“They have handed themselves in and we arrested them, three males and a female.
“They are facing charges of murder, but we might add other charges,” Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) spokeswoman, Grace Langa, said.
Langa said the officers would remain in custody overnight despite the officers’ pleas for the process to be expedited, so they can appear before a Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday.
“They were stressed, they were requesting the investigators to allow them appear in court earlier, but there is no special treatment,” Langa said.
South Africa remains beset by high levels of violent crime blamed on high unemployment and the lingering effects of apartheid.
There had been a series of police using inordinate force against civilians in recent years, the worst being the 2012 “Marikana massacre” where 34 striking mine workers were gunned down by policemen.