Cop shoot­ing cover-up angers com­mis­sioner

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - SIHLE MANDA

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.”

PIC­TURE: NH­LANHLA PHILLIPS

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.

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