IN PICTURES | Solidarity for Natheniël Julies on the Cape Flats as two police officers appear in court for murder
Two police officers who stand accused of killing 16-year-old Natheniël Julies are expected to appear in the Protea magistrate's court on Monday.
Watchdog body the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) confirmed on Friday night that the two officers had been arrested and would be charged with murder when they made their first appearance in court.
Julies, who had Down syndrome, was killed in Eldorado Park on Wednesday when, according to reports, he allegedly failed to respond to police questioning. His family said he was at a tuck shop buying biscuits. He was seemingly loaded into the back of a police van, where he died.
His death sparked outrage and triggered protests in the area.
Gauteng premier David Makhura said last week that Julies was killed in the crossfire of a shoot-out between police and a gang in the area.
“The boy, who was disabled, was allegedly caught in the crossfire between a gang and the SA Police Service on Wednesday. I am very disturbed about the events that led to the passing of an innocent boy,” Makhura said.
Police minister Bheki Cele said during a visit to Julies' family that should any police officer be found responsible for the murder, they will be dealt with like any ordinary South African.
In a statement on Friday night, Ipid spokesperson Ndileka Cola said the arrests of the officers came “after careful consideration of the evidence at hand”.
“The pair will be charged with murder and possibly defeating the ends of justice. The two SAPS members are attached to the Eldorado Park crime prevention unit,” said Cola.