Man found dead: Family cry foul

2015-11-19 06:00
 Bereaved family members Thandeka, Cynthia and Nomthandazo Tshokolo still puzzled by the death of Asanda.  PHOTO: Mbongiseni Maseko

Bereaved family members Thandeka, Cynthia and Nomthandazo Tshokolo still puzzled by the death of Asanda. PHOTO: Mbongiseni Maseko

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There is still an air of mystery around the death of a man who allegedly killed himself while in police custody in Nyanga Station.

Asanda Tshokolo, 28, was arrested on Monday after he allegedly tried to rob a police officer of his firearm at the police station.

Then he was found hanged at the police cell on Tuesday after spending the night.

It is alleged that he had tried to rob a detective of his service pistol at the charge office. His efforts were unsuccessful and he was taken into custody.

According to his family, Tshokolo went to the police station after getting fired from his security job in Observatory for smoking tik.

His grandmother, Nomthandazo Tshokolo, said that Asanda was meant to have come home from work but instead went to the police station as he felt safe there.

“When he was on drugs he often became jumpy and paranoid. So he often went to the police station where he felt like he was safe,” she said.

When his body was found it appeared that he had hung himself with torn blankets. His family said that whenever he took drugs, he became suicidal.

“A couple of months ago he had swallowed a handful of pills but escaped death as he was discovered soon after he had swallowed them.

When I asked him why he had tried to kill himself, he never gave a concrete answer but kept apologising for something he didn’t explain,” she said.

Asanda had had a drug problem for a number of years and he had been clean before he started using them again a couple of months ago.

The family says that as much as they were not surprised by the turn of events during the time he was in police custody, it was incumbent on the police to safeguard his life.

“We are unhappy witheir explanation.

“First of all the police told us that he was put in a cell with two murder suspects.

That shouldn’t have been done as we don’t know whether he could have been hanged by them.

According to the relatives that went in to see his body, they way that he was it didn’t look plausible that he hanged himself,” said his aunt Thandeka Tshokolo.

She said at one point they even had a suspicion that the police could have killed him because of what he did.

“Maybe they were angry as many police officers are being killed, we just don’t know what to think,” she said.

The family also wants the government to help towards the burial of the Asanda as they are struggling to come up with the funds for his funeral.

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