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Sunday, 24 January 2016

Nigerian Dies in South African Police Custody

The South African Independent Police Investigative Directorate on Saturday opened investigation into the death of a Nigerian allegedly in the custody of its police.

According to eyewitnesses, the Nigerian national was allegedly suffocated to death by the police in Kempton Park, Johannesburg, South Africa.

This led to a massive protest by some members of the Nigerian community outside a private hospital in Kempton Park.

An unnamed eyewitness alleged that brutality from the South African police in a bid to extort money from them was common.

According to reports monitored on South African news website, eNCA, eyewitnesses said they saw Kempton Park police officers arrest and suffocate the Nigerian. Hundreds of police officers were reported to have used rubber bullets to disperse the angry crowd.

In a video posted online, some of the aggrieved protesters carried placards and chanted songs in solidarity with the deceased Nigerian.

One of the angry protesters claimed he saw the police officer who suffocated the Nigerian. He said, “We need no more black police…. Is that how the whites trained them? As professional police, they are supposed to arrest and take the person to court and allow the law take its course. We need justice in this country. Mandela fought for peace and justice, but the black police are abusing it. Take that from me.”

Police officials, however, claimed that the Nigerian died after he swallowed drugs to evade arrest.

The IPID spokesperson, Robbie Raburabu, was quoted as saying the police could not give details but confirmed that the man died in police custody.

“According to police officers that were involved, the man was in possession of drugs but swallowed them before the officers could arrest him. He was convulsing and the officers rushed him to the nearest hospital to try to save his life but he died inside a police vehicle. The Nigerian community alleged that the police officers suffocated the man,” Raburabu said.

The body of the Nigerian has since been taken for autopsy.

Copyright PUNCH.

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