SA’s top cop ‘shocked and disturbed’ by video showing apparent SAPS shooting cover-up
The South African Police Service (SAPS) on Tuesday said it had sanctioned both misconduct and criminal investigations following the fatal shooting of Constable Tshepo Tladi in Katlehong last week Thursday.
The SAPS’s initial statement was that Tladi‚ 34‚ was killed following an ambush by heavily armed robbers‚ but CCTV footage obtained by The Times revealed that Tladi was potentially shot by one of his colleagues‚ who later attempted to tamper with the scene.
In a statement on Tuesday morning by acting national police commissioner Lieutenant General Khomotso Phahlane‚ the SAPS said it would be focusing investigations‚ in collaboration with the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid)‚ on the members who were on the scene the night Tladi was shot in the back of the head.
“We are extremely shocked and disturbed by the video footage which we have seen and which is circulating online‚” Phahlane said in the statement.
“Should there be evidence to prove that police members tampered with the scene or that there was any type of a cover-up‚ there will certainly be judicial consequences‚” the statement said.
On Monday‚ Ipid spokesperson Moses Dlamini said the police officers on the scene failed in their duty to report the shooting and that further viewing of the video revealed that they might have tampered with the scene.
“What is supposed to be reported is that a policeman was killed by another. But what is reported is that he was killed by robbers‚” he said
Dlamini said the incident had not been reported to them by the police as protocol requires.
“It is supposed to be reported to the station commander‚ and the station commander makes sure it gets reported to Ipid. It is the responsibility of all police officers to report such cases‚” he said.
Tladi’s family has been left angered by the way the case had been handled‚ telling The Times exclusively they had been informed that Tladi was shot by robbers.
“They don’t tell us anything. He was shot by a colleague. I feel like dying right now‚ the way I feel‚” Tladi’s aunt‚ Tshidi Tladi‚ said on Monday.
“What surprises me is why don’t they come back to me and my sister and say ‘this is what happened’. It means they were aware of what happened and kept it quiet‚” she said.
Phahlane vowed in his statement that any wrong doing would be met with the strong hand of justice.
“We will ensure that justice prevails‚” he said. – TMG Digital