Home South African Cops accused of murdering Nathaniel Julies plead not guilty to all charges

Cops accused of murdering Nathaniel Julies plead not guilty to all charges

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The mother of slain Down syndrome teenager Nathaniel Julies teared up in court as the officers accused of murdering the boy pleaded not guilty to all charges.

Nathaniel Julies File picture: Timothy Bernard/African News Agency (ANA)

The mother of slain Down syndrome teenager Nathaniel Julies teared up in court as the officers accused of murdering the boy pleaded not guilty to all charges.

The officers were arrested last year and appeared yesterday in the Palm Ridge Magistrate’s Court, where the trial commenced.

Constable Caylene Whiteboy, Sergeant Simon Ndyalvane and Sergeant Voster Netshiongolo face charges of defeating the ends of justice, while Netshiongolo is also facing a count of perjury. Whiteboy and Ndyalvane each face a count of murder and being in possession of illegal ammunition.

When Judge Ramarumo Monama asked the accused whether they pleaded guilty to the charges, they all responded by saying “not guilty”.

Judge Monama reminded the accused that if they were to plead guilty on any of the charges and then be found guilty, their sentence would then be less harsh.

Nathaniel, 16, who had down syndrome, was buying biscuits at a local tuck shop when officers opened fire on him in late August last year. His death sparked days of protest in Eldorado Park.

A witness, Tasneem Kaldine, took the stand and was asked to explain what she remembered seeing the day the teenager died. Kaldine lives across from the scene where Julies was shot.

“I was watching TV when I heard a loud bang. I only heard one bang and immediately stood up and ran to the door because I was worried about where my daughter (Tahirah) was.

’’As I approached the gate I saw the police vehicle and an officer walking towards a parked truck. He seemed to be looking for something under the truck.

’’The officer then picked up the body of a boy from the truck, which could have been Nathaniel,” said Kaldine.

She asked her daughter who the boy was. Her daughter confirmed it was Nathaniel.

“My daughter then ran to tell Nathaniel’s family what had happened while the officer put the boy’s body in the back of the police vehicle and drove off,” said Kaldine.

During Kaldine’s testimony, Nathaniel’s mother, Bridget Harris, started tearing up.

Harris told the court she remembered the day her son was shot as a difficult day for the family. Hearing now what actually happened was emotional for her.

“The first day of the trial is exhausting and it is as if I can feel my son’s fear and the pain he had felt on that day. My son is and was innocent and we hope that with the grace of God justice for his life will be served,” said Harris.

The matter is expected to continue in the Palm Ridge Magistrate’s Court.

The Star

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