Victim's family distraught after alleged killer cops granted bail

2015-09-01 19:36
An emotional Gcobisa Mbedu-Dlamini. (Naledi Shange, News24)

An emotional Gcobisa Mbedu-Dlamini. (Naledi Shange, News24)

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Johannesburg - While the families of 10 police officers arrested in connection with the murder of Khuthazile Mbedu rejoiced that they were granted bail, Mbedu's family left the Tembisa Magistrate's Court feeling distraught.

Mbedu's sister Gcobisa could not contain her tears and broke down even before proceedings were adjourned.

"I am heartbroken. These people were arrested just the other day and today [Tuesday] they get bail as if they... simply killed an ant," she told journalists as soon as the proceedings were concluded.

Fighting back tears, she told reporters she battled to sleep at night since her brother's death.

"I keep on hearing my brother's cry, even though I wasn't there during the incident. From what I heard [from those who were there], he was crying, begging for mercy, but they never showed any... and today [Tuesday], these people are being released on bail of just R2 000."

Her brother died at a local hospital in December shortly after he was arrested. It is alleged he was tortured with a taser and assaulted by the police. His leg was allegedly broken as a result.

It was alleged that Mbedu had been found in possession of a suspected stolen vehicle and the police's tactical response team had assisted a tracking company in cornering him and arresting him.

On Tuesday, the 10 policemen lined the dock in a courtroom packed with dozens of their relatives and friends.

The officers sat in the dock and followed proceedings with jackets pulled over their heads.

All 10 submitted affidavits. Nine stated that they had indeed arrested Mbedu and transported him to the Ivory Park police station where they left him in the care of another officer, Stanford Mokobodi.

Mokobodi is also an accused in the case. 

The nine, who are all represented by one lawyer, claimed that Mbedu was uninjured and alive when they left him at the station.

It was unclear how Mbedu landed up in hospital for four days before he died.

Mokobodi, like the other nine accused, has indicated that he intends to plead not guilty.

During the bail application, it was revealed that Mokobodi has a previous conviction for assault, while another of the accused also has a criminal record for assisting a prisoner escape from police custody in 2008.

Magistrate Vinny Gobind said in reaching his decision, he noted that the convictions had happened a while ago and the officers had not been found guilty of any other offences since then. He also highlighted the fact that the policemen had handed themselves over to the police last week.

It was not immediately clear why the matter had taken almost eight months to reach the courts.

Meanwhile, Mbedu's sister pleaded for her brother's ID to be returned so that she could have something to "show his children one day".

"There is no one in the township who could say they did not love him," she said.

Relatives of the officers busied themselves in the court passages organising bail on Tuesday.

The police officers are expected back in court on September 10.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  crime

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