Tatane cameraman asked about contradictions
SABC cameraman Filane Chomane yesterday denied being unwilling to give police a statement on events that led to the death of Ficksburg protester Andries Tatane.
Chomane was the second state witness to testify in the Ficksburg Regional Court in the trial of seven Free State policemen accused of killing and assaulting Tatane. The officers each face murder and assault charges.
Tatane was killed during a march against poor service delivery in the Setsoto local municipality on April 13 last year.
Johann Nel, for the policemen, submitted that an investigator had said Chomane refused to make a statement to police after he was quoted in a news report.
Chomane did not reply, and Nel asked him if he thought police were lying about his refusal.
Nel told the court Chomane only agreed to make a statement after he was faced with the possibility of being summoned to appear before a magistrate.
Earlier, Chomane testified that he saw Tatane and a policeman in a fist fight.
During cross-examination, Nel pointed out what he described as contradictions in Chomane's statement to investigators two months after Tatane's death, and his testimony yesterday.
Chomane questioned the accuracy of the news article in which he was quoted.
"No, the quote [shoot him] is not correct," he testified, adding that he only heard "shoot" and that the words "shoot him" were the journalist's.
Nel questioned why he did not tell police what he told the media about seeing something hitting Tatane in the back after a shot was fired.
Chomane said he was not asked.
"The whole point of the exercise was [about] a man being shot. You tell the court nobody asked," Nel argued.
Chomane said the investigators did not ask the same questions as Nel.
The trial continues.