IPID probing Vlakfontein murder accused’s death in police custody

2019-01-24 16:39
The house in Vlakfontein, Gauteng, where seven bodies were found buried under piles of sand in two rooms. (File photo: News24)

The house in Vlakfontein, Gauteng, where seven bodies were found buried under piles of sand in two rooms. (File photo: News24)

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The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) on Thursday said it was investigating the death of Vlakfontein rape and murder accused Ernest Vusi Mabaso, who apparently hanged himself in a cell at the Cape Town Central police station.

IPID spokesperson Moses Dlamini said the incident was reported on Friday morning and a post mortem found that his death was consistent with hanging.

Mabaso, 27, and his co-accused, Fita Khupe, 61, were expected to appear in the Protea Magistrate's Court on Thursday for the murder of seven members of the Khoza family, who were killed in Vlakfontein, south of Johannesburg.

The police found the bodies of three women and four children buried under sand in a house in on October 29, after neighbours noticed a stench coming from the property.

Mabaso also faced three counts of rape.

Gauteng police spokesperson Captain Kay Makhubele told News24 the matter was postponed to Tuesday for Mabaso's death certificate to be presented to the court.

When asked why Mabaso was in Cape Town when the murders were committed in Johannesburg, Makhubele said police received information relating to the murders which led them to the city.

He would not divulge what the information was, but said it formed part of the police investigation.

Only Mabaso – not Khupe - travelled to Cape Town.

Police sources told News24 that the Hawks took Mabaso to the police station.

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Read more on:    ipid  |  johannesburg  |  crime
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