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Six S.African police officers arrested over killing

South African authorities have arrested six police officers in connection with the deadly attack on an unarmed protester last week, the Independent Complaints Directorate (ICD) said Sunday.

“The ICD last night arrested six suspects, two of them on murder charges, and four on assault with grievous bodily harm charges,” said Moses Dlamini, the organisation’s spokesman.

“The suspects were identified with the assistance of witnesses,” he added.

Last Wednesday, state-owned television showed a footage of armed officers striking and kicking Andries Tatane, 33, during a protest against poor government services in the central Free State province.

He was shown holding his hand against his chest after the assault and collapsed around 20 minutes later, dying before an ambulance arrived.

His death has sparked a national outrage, even compared with the police heavy-handedness during apartheid times.

“Police brutality cannot be tolerated in a constitutional democracy. Policing in 2011 should be totally different from the apartheid past that we come from,” he said.

Tatane was part of a group of about 4,000 protesters who marched to Ficksburg municipal offices over a lack of running water, electricity and housing in their community.

Media reported that he was also shot twice with rubber bullets in his chest.

The police officers will appear in court on Monday.