News agency, Cape Town, South Africa
Friday August 23rd 2019

Eight police in court on murder charges

Sandiso Phaliso

The Independent Complains Directorate (ICD) is investigating charges of murder, kidnapping, assault, defeating the ends of justice and housebreaking against eight police officials based at Khayelitsha’s Site-B police station following the death of an 18-year-old man while in custody.

The eight – six police reservists and two constables – appeared for the first time in the Khayelitsha Magistrate’s Court on Monday.

The state alleges that on September 28 the deceased, whose name has not been released to the media, was taken into custody by the accused.

It is alleged he was then beaten to death as he did not, or could not, tell the police the whereabouts of a pistol belonging to one of the police officials which they suspected him of stealing.

According to the charge sheet, accused number one was conducting a routine patrol when the deceased grabbed her firearm and ran.

Failing to catch him, it is alleged the accused asked seven colleagues to accompany her to the suspect’s house.

The suspect was allegedly thrown in the back of police van and taken to the Site-B police station, where he died.

The accused have filed a report stating the suspect died as the result of an epileptic fit.

The matter was referred to the ICD for investigations and post mortem results show the suspect died from multiple injuries as a result of being assaulted.

It was not clear whether SAPS has launched an internal investigation against the accused or not.

In court yesterday, state prosecutor Vukile Gontsana opposed bail.

Gontsana reasoned that the accused were in a position to tamper with the investigation against them, as four of them lived in the same neighbourhood as the deceased, as well as state witnesses.

He said it would be in the interest of justice for the accused to remain in custody as the investigating officer still needed to obtain outstanding witness statements.

Additionally, he said they needed to be kept in custody until an identity parade had been conducted on Thursday this week.

Stanley O’Brien, who has been instructed by the Office of the State Attorney, to represent all the accused, argued that the state should have conducted an identification parade last week Friday, a day after the accused were arrested.

O’Brian said the state had had enough time to obtain witness statements.

Magistrate Patrick Menyiwa set further bail application hearings back to Friday this week.

The accused have not yet pleaded. – West Cape News

Tags: icd, Khayelitsha

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