Nathaniel Julius case back in court
Three South African Police members accused of the deathly killing of a teenager Nathaniel Julius’ appeared appeared in the Palm Ridge Magistrate court to testify on Tuesday morning.
The 16-year-old teen, diagnosed with Down syndrome was shot and killed by the police in Eldorado Park on 26 August 2020. The police had initially suggested that Julius had been caught up in a shoot-out between police and drug dealers.
According to a family member, Julius had gone to buy snacks and biscuits when the police officers shot and killed him, just a few meters away from his home home.
The witness suggested that Julius had been confronted by the police, who allegedly got frustrated when Julius could not answer their questions. The police subsequently shot Julius and put his body into a van before transporting him to the Chris Baragwanath hospital, where he later died at night.
Testifying, Constable Dumisani Sithole said on the eve of Julius’s death, the accused officers, identified as, Sergeant Scorpion, Constable Vaisakhi, and Kgosing had been talking about a suspicious van that was always parked outside a particular flat.
The four had been in a police van in Eldorado Park, when Constable Vaisakhi said, “You know what, there is a white truck that always parks there in the Hill brow flat. That truck has some stolen car parts.”
Sithole further testified that Scorpion instructed them to go and check the truck.
“When we arrived at Hill brow flat, Sergeant Scorpion stopped the car and gave me a gun to load it with rubber bullets. We then went toward the truck and discovered that all doors were locked. Scorpion told us that he would call a backup but, in the meantime, let go back and eat in the van. As we were eating, a boy came and stood next to the truck. He was talking and pointing at us, but we couldn’t hear what he was saying,” Sithole said.
Then one of the female officers had allegedly alerted Sithole that ‘the boy was 064′ meaning the boy was mentally ill. The boy went away as the police were telling him to do so. But after a while, he also returned and stood next to the truck.
”The lady officer came and took a gun, and after that, I heard a shot and saw the young boy lying next to the truck. Then Sergeant Scorpion went to the truck to pick up the boy, and constable Vaisakhi opened the back of the van where they put him to transport into hospital.” Sithole added.
Julius’ grieving mother, Bridgette, was teary-eyed as Sithole, gave his testimony.
The trial will resume again on Wednesday morning.