The four members of the South African Police Service (SAPS) who were arrested over the fatal shooting of 35 year-old Mthokozisi Ntumba, are set to make an appearance in the Johannesburg Magistrate Court on Wednesday the 17 March 2021.

The officers were handcuffed by the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) just several days prior. They face charges of murder, attempted murder and defeating the ends of justice. All four of those arrested are part of the Public Order Policing Unit in Johannesburg.

Mthokizisi Ntumba’s death – Was it a result of police brutality?

Mthokozisi Ntumba was shot dead during the Wits University student protests on Wednesday, 10 March 2021 in Braamfontein, Johannesburg. The man was merely a bystander and had just left a clinic. Ntumba was a happily married family man who had three children. He was also an employee with the Human Settlements Department and had just completed his Master’s degree.

Outraged students had taken to the streets to protest against Wits’ decision to not allow some of their indebted counterparts to register for the current academic year.

Ntumba’s death further fuelled the outrage already felt by students as well as South Africans. Police Minister Bheki Cele visited the man’s family a day after his passing and faced tough questions from journalists, on the extent of brutality by law enforcement, levelled against civilians.

Police brutality is again a key focus, in the wake of the incident and while Cele has condemned the killing, he has been called upon to address the matter and how he does will be quite telling.

It turns out that Ntumba’s family could take action against the state for his death, and if that happens, they have Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema on their corner.

Malema has also offered to not only help the family afford him a decent send off.

“We are going to make sure that the postmortem is conducted properly. We want to make sure that government pays and pays a lot of money for killing an innocent soul. We are going to make sure that our brother receives a dignified funeral,” he said when he visited their Kempton Park home.

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Presh JM Reporter

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