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The State withdrew all charges against Kanathasen Munsamay and magistrate Hein van Niekerk excused him from the proceedings, in the Ficksburg Regional Court.
The trial of the seven remaining policemen Nicodemus Moiloa, Mothusi Magano, Mphonyana Ntaje, Olebogeng Mphirime, Solomon Moeketsi, Jonas Skosana and Isaac Finger then got under way. They are accused of murder and assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm.
All seven have pleaded not guilty to both charges.
Tatane was killed in Meqheleng, allegedly by public order police, during a service delivery protest on April 13 last year.
Video footage showed riot police beating Tatane during the march to the Setsoto municipal offices in Ficksburg.
Roads were blocked with stones and bricks for several days and tyres set alight.
The State called its first witness, deputy chairman of the Meqheleng Concerned Citizens group Phillip Selokoe.
Soon after he began his testimony the case was adjourned for the day.