Nigerian man dies in police custody, sparking protest

2019-05-03 19:14
Protesters and police exchanged angry words after Victor Udes died in a Lwandle police station holding cell. (Velani Ludidi, GroundUp)

Protesters and police exchanged angry words after Victor Udes died in a Lwandle police station holding cell. (Velani Ludidi, GroundUp)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) is investigating the death of 28-year-old Victor Udes after he died at the Lwandle police station on Wednesday.

Udes, who immigrated to South Africa from Nigeria, was arrested after police went to investigate an altercation between him and his ex-girlfriend.

IPID’s Moses Dlamini said: "It is alleged that the lady told the police that the deceased was involved in drug dealing. The police allege that the deceased grabbed something which was wrapped in a plastic and swallowed it. Upon being questioned, it is alleged that the deceased became unruly and swore at the police, after which he was arrested for riotous behaviour."

Dlamini said Udes was detained at yhe Lwandle police holding cells. He was found hanging at 12:27, apparently by his jersey. "He was declared dead at the scene... An inquest docket was opened, and the matter is being investigated by IPID."

Protesters, mostly Nigerian immigrants, gathered at the police station on Wednesday after hearing of Udes' death. They demanded to see his body. One person was allowed to do so, Happiness Maduora. He disputed that Dlamini had killed himself.

"The body was on the ground and the tongue was not out, which is a sign of a person who hanged himself. His slippers were still on his feet and he did not wet himself. The police must tell us what happened to our brother, not this suicide story, because that is a lie."

President of the Nigerian Association in Helderberg, John Anyaoku, accused police of killing Udes. "He was strong and healthy," he told GroundUp. "There is no reason why he would kill himself. It is not in our nature as Nigerians to take our own lives."

As more protesters arrived, anger grew. Protesters and police argued and the police armed themselves. The situation calmed down after Udes’s body was removed by pathologists.

SAPS referred GroundUp to IPID when requested to comment.

Read more on:    sa  |  nigeria  |  west africa  |  crime

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.