Cop shooting cover-up angers commissioner
ACTING national police commissioner Khomotso Phahlane has berated the policemen involved in an incident in which a Katlehong cop was shot and killed by his colleague when they responded to a robbery last week.
He accused Constable Tshepo Tladi’s colleagues of tampering with the scene after the shooting.
Phahlane expressed his anger while addressing the media after visiting Tladi’s family yesterday.
Tladi’s colleagues initially said he had been hit by robbers’ gunfire during an exchange of bullets during a Thursday morning robbery at a petrol station.
However, footage seen by The Star indicates that he had been shot in the head from behind by a policeman.
Police have launched a twopronged high-level investigation into the robbery and an internal investigation into the conduct of the officers.
Phahlane promised Tladi’s family that those involved would be dealt with.
“A thorough investigation will be conducted. We have instituted both a criminal and disciplinary process so that if it is anything to do with us, we’ll act accordingly.”
He was concerned that the video went viral.
“There’s an element of insensitivity on the part of whoever distributed it. You don’t want to be a family member and be subjected to what the Tladi family have been subjected to. I don’t know what we are trying to achieve.”
Phahlane said he would have expected the police to have conducted themselves differently.
“The way the whole scene was dealt with makes it a bit difficult to (say) what exactly happened here,” he said.
Had police not seen the video, “we might have struggled to do what you call a scene reconstruction”. “Here you’d want to say ‘this is the position he was lying in, this is where the firearm was, this is how far the cartridge went and so on.”
He vowed that there would be arrests.
“Whether it be one person or all who were there. You can’t just look at one person when it comes to the crime scene.
“There are basic things that should have been done, and one is not to tamper with the crime scene. He was shot from the back, so you’d want to look at the wound and make a determination of the range (of the fired shot).
“These will be investigated to a point where action will be taken. I hope it won’t be long.”
ON THE WARPATH: Acting police commissioner Khomotso Phahlane addresses the media in Thokoza outside the home of police officer Tshepo Tladi who was allegedly shot by another officer.