Man found dead in Daveyton police cells

2015-06-02 14:05
Jail bars. (File photo, AP)

Jail bars. (File photo, AP)

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Johannesburg - A Mozambican man was found dead in the police cells at the Daveyton police station on Monday.

According to other inmates, the man banged his head against the wall, and no foul play was suspected, police said.

The 36-year-old was found dead inside his cell on Monday by police, Gauteng police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Lungelo Dlamini said.

The man was apparently arrested on Sunday for being drunk in public in Etwatwa, a township near Benoni, and taken to the Daveyton police station.

Dlamini said the cause of his death was unknown, but that police had opened an inquest docket.

"According to his inmates, he allegedly banged his head against the wall before he went to sleep.

"When police visited the cell, he could not wake up and police called the paramedics. He was certified dead [in] the cells. No foul play is suspected," Dlamini said.

The DA in Gauteng said it had visited the family of the man, who they identified as Justice Malati.

"The station commander was unable to offer an explanation for his death and indicated that a postmortem would need to be conducted," DA MPL Michele Clarke said in a statement.

"The DA will be requesting an urgent investigation into this case by the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) on behalf of the family."

The DA had also written to Premier David Makhura and the provincial police commissioner asking them to assist the family in getting answers about what happened.

In 2013, nine Daveyton police officers were arrested in connection of the murder of another Mozambican man, Mido Macia.

Footage showing Macia, who was a taxi driver, being tied to the back of a police van and dragged through the streets of Daveyton, went viral in February 2013.

The trial of the officers - Thamsanqa Ncema, Linda Sololo, Meshack Malele, Motome Walter Ramatlou, Percy Mnisi, Bongumusa Mdluli, Sipho Ngobeni, Lungisa Ewababa, and Bongani Kolisi - is expected to get under way in July again.

Police alleged that they had got into a confrontation with Macia when he refused to move his taxi, which was obstructing traffic.

He was found dead in the police holding cells several hours later. He was wearing his underwear and socks. His trousers were later found in another part of the police station.

A postmortem found that he died of a lack of oxygen.

Read more on:    police  |  johannesburg  |  police brutality  |  crime

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