The three South African Security policemen involved in the Mohapi case, Capt. Petrus Schoeman, to whom the "suicide" note is addressed, Sgt. Herbert Nicholson and Maj. Richard Hansen have all been attentive spectators at the recent proceedings.
But all three are very sensitive about being photographed, as free-lance photographer Ashley Le Grange discovered when he snapped a picture of them outside the court. Schoeman tried to tug Le Grange's camera away from him and then said, "Publish a picture of me in any newspaper, and you will see what will happen to you," according to Le Grange and another reporter who was listening to the confrontation.
The final straw for Le Grange came when Hansen, who also was a prominent figure at the Biko death inquest, hit the photographer on the ear and then punched him in the jaw with his elbow, Le Grange said.
He pressed charges of assault against Hansen and Schoeman and then applied for a court restraining order to prevent them from interfering with his work. While the judge deliberates whether to grant it or not, he has obliged the three police to promise the court they will leave Le Grange alone.
After the hearings at which they promised this, the three scurried into a waiting car and crouched on the floor so that two other photographers could not snap them, Le Grange's lawyer, Herbert Fischat said.