Second murder charge for cops who assaulted two suspects

A new charge of murder has been added in the case against five Eastern Cape police officers accused of killing a man they suspected of theft.

This was revealed on Tuesday at the Cradock magistrate’s court during the cross-examination of the investigating officer who is working on the case.

One of the suspects died of injuries

According to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), one of the suspects who was also allegedly assaulted, has died.  The cause of death has been described as blunt force head trauma.

“A second charge of murder was added against all the five accused and that charge replaces one attempted murder count,” said NPA spokesperson Luxolo Tyali.

The officers, who are aged between 29 and 46 years old, were arrested by members of the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid)  recently.

Suspects arrested over cellphone theft

This after allegations that they arrested a 29-year-old man, assaulted him, and interrogated him. The arrest was about a stolen cellphone belonging to one of the officers.

Later, the man died and his body was found within the premises of the SA Police Service in Cradock.

The officers are Melikhaya Madubedube, Ibanathi Jack, Ndumiso Mpondo, Khulile Damane and Vuyani Mahlasela. Each faces two charges of murder, assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm, and three counts of kidnapping.

Victim tortured, suffocated

Tyali said the officers allegedly suffocated the deceased. He offered to take them to town in search of a person who might have knowledge of the stolen cellphone.

“They found the second victim and took him to a secluded area where they allegedly tortured him,” added Tyali.

“The accused persons allegedly left the victim lying on the premises of the station and went their separate ways. The station commander found the victim on the station’s grounds. The second victim died in hospital at the weekend.”

The bail application is ongoing, and Tyali said the state is going to oppose the bail.


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