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Thu Feb 21, 2013, 06:01 PM

No end in sight for police brutality in South Africa

No end in sight for police brutality in South Africa

People thought they would see no more peaceful protesters shot by police, but the force is turning violent again

Justice Malala in Pretoria
The Guardian, Thursday 21 February 2013 14.50 EST

In July 2009 South Africa's then new police commissioner, Bheki Cele, told a newspaper he wanted the law to be changed to allow police to "shoot to kill" suspects without worrying about "what happens after that".

Two months later a young woman, Olga Kekana, was going out with three friends in a Pretoria township when she was shot through the head. The car she was travelling in was "mistaken" by police for one driven by car hijackers.

Survivors said the police had given no warning. Eight policemen opened fire. The car Kekana was in had 13 bullet holes. The police fled the scene and did not help the injured.

When news broke on Thursday morning that Hilton Botha, the lead detective in the prosecution of Oscar Pistorius, was facing attempted murder charges after firing at a minibus taxi carrying seven passengers in 2009, many began once again to wonder about the state of the South African police.


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