- The four officers accused of killing Mthokozisi Ntumba made their way to court on Wednesday, 24 March
- It was revealed in court that Ntumba was killed by a rubber bullet wound to the chest shot at close range
- The officers are applying for bail with most of them claiming they are breadwinners for their families
Judgement in the case of the four officers accused of killing innocent bystander Mthokozisi Ntumba has been reserved for Friday, 26 March. An IPID (Independent Police Investigative Directorate) investigator revealed that Ntumba had been shot at close-range with a rubber bullet.
Ntumba's postmortem results revealed that he died due to a firearm injury to his chest. Reports say that Ntumba's body was found on the pavement with three bullet wounds. The court heard that the officers had shot at students inside a building.
The students and Mthokozisi did not pose any threat. According to the IPID affidavit, the students and Ntumba took off in different directions. A witness pointed at Ntumba and the accused looked at him before leaving the scene.
EWN reported that two of the accused have indicated that they would be pleading not guilty. The accused told the court that they are confident that should the case go to trial they would be acquitted.
A report by TimesLIVE stated that the accused had all spoken about being the breadwinners of their families and have children. South Africans have taken to social media to express their thoughts about the court case.
Briefly.co.za compiled a few of the top tweets:
"Mthokozisi Ntumba’s alleged killers are claiming they are breadwinners and thus should be granted bail. They’re both using the same escape route to get bail is it a coincidence?"
"NO BAIL! They should have thought about the consequences before they killed Ntumba, a breadwinner too with four children. Mthokozisi Ntumba found with three bullet wounds, accused drove away without assisting, court hears."
"Now the police officers accused of murdering Mthokozisi Ntumba pleading for bail because they are breadwinners, fathers, husbands, sons... So was Mthokozisi but you killed him in cold blood."
Previously, Briefly.co.za reported that Ntumba's memorial was underway as the accused made their first court appearance. Tshepiso Kekana, Cidraas Motseothata, Madimetja Legodi and Victor Mohammed covered their faces in the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court.
The officers were all from the public order policing unit and killed Ntumba with rubber bullets. The presiding magistrate is seeing to charges of defeating the ends of justice, attempted murder as well as murder at the court.
In other news about Ntumba, South African Police Minister Bheki Cele called the 35-year-old's death both "inexcusable" and "unacceptable".
Cele was heard telling this to journalists after he visited the young man's family at their Kempton Park home yesterday. He also said that the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) would need cooperation from everyone involved in the case, including Ntumba's family.
Ntumba was married with three children, the youngest child being under one year old, and had just completed his Master's degree while working at the Department of Human Settlements when he was gunned down by a rubber bullet, allegedly shot by police officers trying to disperse the crowd of protestors outside of the Wits medical centre.
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Source: Briefly News