Husband arrested for assaulting, raping wife dies in police cells after allegedly ingesting poison

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A man has died in police custody.
A man has died in police custody.
Gallo Images / Sowetan /Thulani Mbele
  • IPID are investigating the death of a 34-year-old man in the Tembisa police station holding cells on Saturday. 
  • The suspect was arrested after he allegedly raped and severely assaulted his wife.
  • It's suspected that he ingested poison shortly before his arrest which ultimately led to his death. 

A 34-year-old man accusing of raping and severely assaulting his wife, died in the Tembisa police station holding cells on Saturday evening after he had allegedly ingested poison shortly before being arrested. 

According to Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID), the suspect had allegedly threatened his wife with a knife and knitting needle before forcing himself onto her at their home in Tembisa. 

"He raped her from 19:00 until 23:00 while punching her all over her body, biting her face, mouth and neck," IPID spokesperson Grace Langa said. 

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The wife, who has three children with the suspect, allegedly managed to escape and called the police. 

After the wife was taken to hospital, Langa said police arrested and detained the suspect in the police station's holding cells. 

"He was detained inside the cell together with six other inmates."


The other inmates screamed for help after the suspect's eyes rolled back as he started shaking, vomiting, foaming at the mouth.

"Police called paramedics and they declared him dead at the scene."

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Langa said the suspect's house was visited after his death, where the suspected poison, a knife and pepper spray were found.

IPID suspected that the man ingested the poison when police took his wife to hospital. 

"He might have been nervous that he will be arrested when they return from hospital," Langa added. 

A post mortem was expected to be conducted on Thursday to establish the cause of death. 

While IPID was investigating the death, police confirmed to News24 that a case of rape and assault with grievous bodily harm was opened and being investigated. 

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