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Page last updated at 10:43 GMT, Tuesday, 10 November 2009

SA police 'kill boy aged three'

South African police officer (file photo)
The president has urged the police to get tough

South Africa's police watchdog has condemned the "shooting of innocent people" after a boy of three was allegedly killed by a police officer.

The officer reportedly mistook a pipe the boy was carrying for a gun. He was in a car the police thought was being driven by suspected criminals.

The family of Atlegang Phalane says the policeman showed "no remorse" about the killing, reports the Sowetan newspaper.

The policeman has been charged with murder and remains in custody.

President Jacob Zuma recently said police should get tough to deal with the country's high levels of crime, however he said they should not be "trigger-happy".

Moses Dlamini from the Independent Complaints Directorate (ICD) told the BBC that no pipe or firearm had been recovered from the car in Midrand, near Johannesburg.

Atlegang's mother Mapule Phalane has accused the police constable of not being remorseful about the shooting.

"I could not believe my eyes when I arrived at the scene.

"He was busy eating a lollipop. I approached him and asked why he killed my son, but he looked at me as if I was crazy," said Ms Phalane, reports the Sowetan newspaper.



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