Those responsible for the murder of an Eldorado Park teenager this week will face the full might of the law, Police Minister Bheki Cele has assured the enraged community.
Cele made the commitment on Friday after visiting the family of Nathaniel Julius, 16, who was shot dead on Wednesday evening.
The Minister’s vow was reiterated by President Cyril Ramaphosa, who mourned the slain teenager in a statement.
On Thursday, angered residents took to the streets, calling for justice for Nathaniel, alleging that the youngster, who lived with a disability, died at the hands of an identified police officer.
Cele said: “We hear what you are saying. A young, innocent soul has been killed. The allegation is that a member of the SAPS is involved in that killing, therefore, police cannot investigate themselves. That is the reason the case has been given to IPID [Independent Police Investigative Directorate] to investigate what exactly happened. We hope they will find what happened and we will then be able to report [back] to the community.”
The Minister assured the seething community that the culprits responsible for the teenager’s murder would face the full might of the law.
“Whoever committed the crime will have to face the law. It doesn’t matter who’s that person. The case has already been given to the IPID. We don’t want the police to be seen to be interfering. We will find the answers,” he said.
He urged those privy to the circumstances around the incident to approach the IPID with the relevant information.
“Come forward with the information so we can move faster [with investigation],” he said.
Regarding requests for the release of community leaders arrested in the wake of the violence on Thursday, Cele said police would engage the National Prosecuting Authority.
Offering condolences to the family, President Ramaphosa called for restraint, saying the death was being investigated.
In the statement, the President said the violent death of any young person is a matter of concern.
“My thoughts and prayers are with the family and neighbors of Nathaniel, who has, as a 16-year-old, been deprived of a future and whose tragic death has given rise to anger and unrest in a community that deserves better.”
The President says that while communities have a right to express dissent, anger should not spill over into action that could worsen the trauma already experienced by citizens.
“Justice can only prevail if community workers work with our criminal justice system to address alleged injustice or abuse.”
President Ramaphosa further urged Eldorado Park residents and authorities at the municipal and provincial levels to work together more closely to address underlying socio-economic challenges in this locality, including the fight against crime. – SAnews.gov.za