A police officer caught on video seemingly fatally shooting his colleague in the head is back at work while the dead officer’s family are left demanding answers.
In January, The Times revealed what seems to have been a coverup by police on the scene of Katlehong officer Constable Tshepo Tladi’s death.
He was initially reported as having being shot in an “ambush” by armed robbers at a filling st at i o n . But CCTV video evidence later showed that Tladi was apparently shot in the back of the head by a colleague during the shoot-out.
The video also showed what appeared to be an attempt to tamper with the crime scene by other police officers who had tried to move his body.
The Independent Police Investigative Directorate is investigating Tladi’s shooting.
Gauteng police spokesman Brigadier Mathapelo Peters confirmed that the officer alleged to have shot his colleague had reported for duty in February. Peters said a departmental investigation would depend on the outcome of the Ipid investigation, which will determine whether the shooting was accidental or intentional.
“Given this context, it is confirmed that the member is on duty pending a determination by the Ipid investigation,” Peters said. But Tladi’s family say they are still waiting for answers and are stunned that the man accused of shooting him is back at work.
“They haven’t told us anything. We just want to know if he killed Tshepo or not. We want to know what they are going to do about it,” said Tladi’s aunt, Polette Tladi.
Tladi said the family has been struggling since Tshepo’s death. “I saw the guy the other day and it really hurts to see him back at work knowing Tshepo is gone. He can still work and make money and look after his family.
Tshepo can’t do that any more,” Polette said. “We just want answers.
They said they will investigate. We want to know whether he killed Tshepo or not. Whether it was on purpose or an accident,” she said.
Polette said the family had not received any communication from the investigating officers or update s about the progress of the investigation.
When the video emerged, acting national police commissioner Khomotso Phahlane said the police were “extremely shocked and disturbed by the video footage”.
“Should there be evidence to prove that police members tampered with the scene or that there was any type of a coverup‚ there will certainly be judicial consequences‚” he said.
Ipid spokesman Moses Dlamini said there “were some technical reports outstanding” which were required to finalise the probe.