Two police officers have been arrested in connection with the murder of 16-year-old Nathaniel Julius, the Down Syndrome teen who was shot and killed in Eldorado Park on Wednesday, August 26. His death has sent shockwaves through communities all over South Africa sparking a social media movement asking for justice for the teenager.
Independent Police Investigation Directorate (IPID) spokesperson Ndileka Cola said, the decision to arrest the two officers was made on “careful consideration of the evidence at hand.
“The pair will be charged with murder and possibly defeating the ends of justice. The two South African Police Service members are attached to the Eldorado Park crime prevention unit. Further details regarding the case will only be made available once the pair have appeared in the Protea Magistrate’s Court,” said Cola to IOL.
Julius was buying biscuits from a tuck shop when the incident unfolded on Wednesday. Police officers had apparently become frustrated with his responses to their questions. He was allegedly taken to the Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital, and died there.
He was 16 years old.
He was a son, brother…
He had Downs Syndrome.
He was a boy from Eldorado Park.
He was unarmed, holding a biscuit in his hand.
A boy who had the right to live and be free.
He mattered. He had a name – NATHANIEL JULIUS.#JusticeforNathanielJulius 💔 pic.twitter.com/T0D9mqtjFT
— Liesl Laurie (@LieslLaurie) August 28, 2020
Minister of Police Bheki Cele paid a visit to the Julius family on Friday, August 28. Here, he was also confronted by angry members of the Eldorado Park community.
According to the IPID, a police officer named Scorpion has been identified as the shooter on social media, but ballistics reports confirmed that this officer was not the one who shot the bullet that killed the teen.
“My thoughts and prayers are with the family and neighbours 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,” President Cyril Ramaphosa also said in a message.