Maverick Citizen

POLICE CHARGED

Nathaniel Julies killing: State will oppose bail for two accused police officers

Nathaniel Julies killing: State will oppose bail for two accused police officers
A group of supporters stands outside the Protea Magistrate’s Court in Soweto ahead of the appearance of the two police officers charged with the murder of Nathaniel Julius. (Photo / Shiraaz Mohamed)

The officers face four charges, including murder, defeating the ends of justice, discharging a firearm in public, and being found in possession of prohibited ammunition.

Two police officers appeared in the Protea Magistrate’s Court on Monday, charged with the murder of Nathaniel (Neteniel) Julies, an Eldorado Park youth. The State said it would oppose bail.

The officers, who appeared in court for the first time since their arrest by the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) on Friday 28 August, faced four charges, including murder, defeating the ends of justice, discharging a firearm in public, and being found in possession of prohibited ammunition. The case against them was postponed to 10 September for a bail hearing and to allow them to secure legal representation.

Friends and Julius family members in the courtroom before proceedings on 31 August in Soweto. (Photo / Shiraaz Mohamed)

“I am happy that the accused are in custody, and that the state has promised to oppose bail, but you don’t know what will happen after that,” Julies’ uncle Cyril Brown said.

“You see, it is good that something is happening, but the history of the police in Eldorado Park speaks for itself. The ailing relationship between the community and police has prevailed because they are incompetent.”

Simon ‘Scorpion’ Ndyalvane, left, and Caylene Whiteboy, right, the two accused police officers, in the dock as they face charges of murder, possession of prohibited ammunition, discharging of a firearm in a public space and defeating the ends of justice. The case is postponed until 10 September 2020. (Photo: Shiraaz Mohamed)

Brown said his distress was heightened when he learnt that one of the officers was female and that they were also coloured. “It hurts that our own can do such at home,” said Brown.

Magistrate Malesela Mhango put the charges to the two officers and made it clear the charges were of a very serious nature. One of the accused, Simon Scorpion Ndyalvane, said he would consult his legal representative, while his co-accused, Caylene Whiteboy, said she would apply for legal aid.

There was a strong contingent of police at the court appearance. (Photo: Shiraaz Mohamed)

The National Prosecuting Authority’s Phindi Mjonondwane said the state will oppose bail.

Explaining the charge of possession of prohibited ammunition, Mjonondwane said the ammunition in question was banned after the killing by police of Free State activist Andries Tatane.

A friend of the Julius family leaves courtroom no 30. (Photo: Shiraaz Mohamed)

Lwazi Mdluli, a member of the Ba Akhi NGO who attended court in solidarity with the family, said they did not trust that justice would be done, especially considering the police’s stormy relationship with Eldorado Park residents and the appalling service community members received at the local police station.

Said Mdluli, “We would like to see swift justice. What will happen now is that they will engage in delaying tactics so that the community and the nation at large forget about the incident.”

Journalists taking cellphone photos of EFF MP Kenny Motsama as he comforts the Julius family and friends. (Photo: Shiraaz Mohamed)

Julies was initially thought to have been killed in a cross-fire between robbers and police, but community members and his family said the 16-year-old was killed after police officers got frustrated with his response to questioning. Julies suffered from Down Syndrome.

Just as the case was about to be heard, a scuffle ensued between members of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and the police outside court. This came as no surprise as heated exchanges between the two factions had begun early on.

Magistrate Malesela Mhango during the appearance. (Photo: Shiraaz Mohamed)

The EFF members, under the leadership of MP Kenny Motsamai, said they had come to support the family and community of Eldorado Park.

“What happened in Eldorado Park saddened us. We want to ensure that those responsible end up behind bars, and that they receive no preferential treatment from the state,” said Motsamai.

Simon ‘Scorpion’ Ndyalvane had his face covered by a mask as he stood in the dock. (Photo: Shiraaz Mohamed)

On Sunday, 30 August, members of the Eldorado Park community staged a peaceful march near the Eldorado Park police station. Community leader and Democratic Alliance (DA) councillor for the area, Peter Rafferty, said:

Caylene Whiteboy, one of the two accused police officers, stands in the dock as she signs a declaration stating that she has no legal representation. (Photo: Shiraaz Mohamed)

“The key message is for support throughout the case of Nathaniel Julies. We are demanding regular updates on the case.”

Julies’ father, Clint Smith, said after the shooting the family had been treated abominably by the police and that their experience was unspeakably painful. He said that the police frustrated his efforts to be with his son at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital.

People hold a banner as hundreds of residents from Eldorado Park, Westbury, Lenasia, Reiger Park, Noordgesig held a peaceful protest on 30 August 2020. Residents gathered at the Eldorado Park police station where they called for an end to police brutality and asked for justice to be served in the killing of Nathaniel Julius. A memorandum will be handed over to IPID. (Photo: Shiraaz Mohamed)

“Why didn’t the police take me to the hospital with my boy?” Smith asked.

During the march against the boy’s killing, Eldorado Park community members said they were tired of lawlessness in the area. Many South Africans took to social media to condemn the killing. DM

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