A Hanover Park family are distraught after their 38-year-old father was killed at the hands of police in circumstances that remain uncertain. According to eyewitness reports, 38-year-old Marlin Fuller was outside of his home in Cascade court when South African Police Service (SAPS) members on patrol asked everyone to drop to the ground after which Fuller tried to explain he was overweight and could not get to the ground as requested, he was shot in the stomach. Bystanders were under the impression SAPS were firing rubber bullets when they heard shots coming from outside before officers allegedly drove off. Moments later, they discovered that Fuller, who had been standing outside, was fatally wounded.
Confused by what led to this, the Fuller family has now turned to the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) to demand answers about what led to his shooting on Saturday morning.
Speaking on VOC’s Breakfast show on Wednesday morning, Ipid spokesperson Sontaga Seisa said they were investigating the incident and nobody has yet been arrested.
“We received a report of a death as a result of police action in Hanover Park where an adult male person was allegedly shot and later died over the past weekend. The matter was registered at Philippi SAPS. Ipid was activated and we just took over an investigation on the matter,” said Seisa.
Seisa further explained what the general protocol for a South African Police Service (SAPS) member on patrol would be.
“In general they [police] are allowed to stop any vehicle and search it, if they think it is suspicious. They are also allowed to stop and search any person they find in the public domain,” said Seisa.
Siesa continued and said above all human rights have to be respected.
“When any duty is executed by a member of the police the rights of the person need to be ensured,” stated Siesa.
However, Community Policing Forum (CPF) member in the Hanover Park, Philippi region, Yaseen Johaar said in no way was the human rights of Fuller protected.
“It seems that we the civilians need to be protected from the police because at the end of the day they are there to serve us and there should be a way in which people are spoked to and dealt with. it is unacceptable to think this is okay because it absolutely is not,” stated Johaar.
“It is a completely different tale if it is gang related but the fact that Marlin was a community worker and respected in his community is so heartbreaking. We are torn apart. How do you tell a nine-year-old he is going to spend his Christmas without his father,” asked an emotional Johaar.
Johaar explained not a single person from the Phillipi police station has made contact with the family in order to share condolences. He also said the family were treated horribly on arrival at the police station when they attempted to open a case.
“We will do our very best to be there for our community, to be the link between our people and the police. We are going to stand behind the deceased and his family and see that justice is served,” added Johaar.
According to IOL, an anonymous family member claimed police had “cleaned up the scene” where Fuller was shot. No arrests have yet been made.
Fuller is survived by his widow Sharon, three children aged 22, 19 and 9 and two grandchildren.