Johannesburg – Three Johannesburg Metro Police Department constables were arrested on Thursday in connection with the murder of journalist and fixer Godknows Nare, the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) said.
IPID spokesperson Moses Dlamini said they would appear in the Roodepoort Magistrate’s Court on Friday on charges of murder, assault and defeating the ends of justice.
Nare was shot dead in Florida, west of Johannesburg, on April 17, 2017.
“The arrest and court appearance follow an investigation by the IPID which uncovered that contrary to the version of the officers that they were shot at, they, in fact, killed the deceased and staged the crime scene to cover their tracks,” Dlamini said.
The investigator was commended by IPID executive director Robert McBride.
“Police [officers] are expected to act within the bounds of the Constitution and the laws of our country. This case shows that tampering with evidence will not protect those who should be held accountable from their responsibility.”
Nare ‘very brave’
Author and journalist Julian Rademeyer at the time of Nare’s death wrote in Zimbabwe Digital News that the freelance journalist had worked with him as a fixer, during research for a chapter of his book, Killing for Profit. He said Nare had also helped him gain access to a gang of cigarette smugglers operating in Musina.
Rademeyer said Nare had also worked for the BBC, Al Jazeera, the New York Times, the SABC’s Special Assignment, eNCA and Deutsche Welle.
Jacques Pauw, author of The President’s Keepers, described the late Nare as “very brave”.
“He was kind of like a one-man show. He would go where others won’t dare to tread,” Pauw told News24.
He said that Nare had served ten years in prison for armed robbery and when he came out he wanted to start afresh and educate himself. He approached Pauw when he was still with Special Assignment and said he wanted to turn his life around, and asked for a chance to work with him.
Nare had access to zama zamas, rhino smugglers and bank robbers because of his past, and was “absolutely fantastic”, he said.