More than 120,000 people have signed an online petition to demand justice for 16-year-old Nathaniel Julius, who was allegedly shot and killed by police in Eldorado Park on Wednesday last week.
Julius had Down syndrome.
Hazel Waydene, who started the petition last Thursday, wrote that Julius was “shot for no reason” and alleged that the police did not give a true account of the events which led to his death.
“When the police shot him, the boy fell under a truck. The cop pulled him out from under the truck, threw him in the back of the van and went to drop him at a hospital and told the doctors he was involved in a gang fight, which is not true,” wrote Hazel.
Supporters of the petition called on government to tighten its laws and end police brutality.
“People should not get away with this cruelty. The world won’t change if these type of things continue,” wrote Eunice Cruz.
Kaylah Morris wrote: “Police brutality is a problem, especially when it comes to showing empathy and patience with those who are disabled.”
Two officers were arrested on Friday in connection to Julius’ murder. They are expected to appear before the Pretoria magistrate’s court on Monday.
Spokesperson for the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid), Ndileka Cola, said the arrests followed “careful consideration” of the evidence given to investigators. She said the duo would be charged with murder, and also possibly defeating the ends of justice.
Gauteng premier David Makhura said Julius was caught in crossfire between a gang and police action, but community members said he was shot after allegedly failing to answer questions from police.
Police minister Bheki Cele was met by angry protesters when he visited Julius’ family on Friday. He said the relationship between communities and police must be restored.