The death of Andries Tatane in service delivery protest in the Free State sparks national outrage

Andries Tatane clutches his chest after police shot him with rubber bullets.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

On 13 April 2011, activist Andries Tatane was killed, by police after a service delivery protest turned ugly in Ficksburg, Free State. Following his death, eight Free State policemen were arrested on charges of assaulting and killing Tatane. The eight accused were Nicodemus Israel Moiloa, Jonas Skosana, Mothusi Magano, Mphonyana Ntaje, Olebogeng Mphirime, Solomon Moeketsi, Kanathasen Munsamay and Isaac Finger.

Of eight policemen, two were charged with murder and the rest faced charges of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm. They were all found not guilty as it was claimed that they could not be identified because of the helmets that were worn. Less than two months before his death, a protester died during a clash between police and residents during service delivery protests in Ermelo, Mpumalanga.

Tatane left behind his wife and two children.

• News24, (2011), ‘Andries Tatane case postponed’, 14 July, [online], Available at [Accessed: 11 April 2014]
• Cornish, J.J. (2011), ‘One Dies as South African Police and protesters clash’, from RFI, 15 February, [online], Available at: [Accessed: 11 April 2014]
• South Africa: The Murder of Andries Tatane’, Denver Anarchist Black Cross, 28 April 2011

Last updated : 13-Apr-2016

This article was produced for South African History Online on 05-Apr-2012