Does anyone care about deaths in SA police custody?

During apartheid, every one of the 74 deaths in SA police custody up to 1994 was widely condemned in screaming headlines and frantic international protest campaigns. Under the ANC regime, deaths in custody soared to 695 in 2006 and reached 860 deaths in 2010. Only the annual Amnesty International summaries have some paragraphs tucked away mentioning this horrific fact. No screaming headlines, no frantic international protest actions. Why did world opinion come to such a screeching halt once the ANC came to power?

 Burglary suspect, 21, was hunted downand collared in his squatter-shack by the black community: KwaThema police claimed he then committed suicide overnight

also:

8 September 2011 source: journalist Mpho Morereane – Although an inquest still has to be conducted to establish the exact facts, the SA police force have already announced that an unnamed 21-year-old man ‘hung himself’ in the KwaThema Police Station holding cells on the morning of Sept 8 2011. Journalist Mpho Morereane quoted the police as saying: “He apparently tied a blanket around the bars of the window in the cell and hung himself. The police found his body at around 8am, when he was about to be taken for profiling. How he climbed and reached the bars still puzzles the police. The deceased was arrested on last Thursday for house break-in and theft. He apparently stole a DVD player, blankets, potable radio and a duvet from a shack at Extension Three, KwaThema. The community, which is tired of burglaries in the area, hunted him down at Barcelona section, still in possession of the stolen items.”

‘This happened in a blink of an eye…’

Sergeant  Andries Tshabalala, KwaThema police spokesman, told Morereane that ‘they were shocked by the incident because police regularly checked the detainees. This happened in a blink of an eye. However, we would like to send our condolences to the family of the deceased. People in custody must know that they are not guilty until proven guilty by the courts,” says Sgt Tshabalala.
He adds that an inquest docket has been opened.

    The arrested man who was found hanging in his KwaThema police cell on September 8 2011.

    SAPF CUSTODY KWATHEMA MAN ARRESTED SEPT72011 (2)

     SAPF CUSTODY KWATHEMA POLICE OFFICERS FOUND HANGING SUSPECT SEPT82011

     Picture above: Sgt Andries Tshabalala flanked by members of the KwaThema police station, posing with the dead man’s recovered ‘loot’ Sept 8 2011

     

    April 2011: 2 AFRIKANERS DEAD IN POLICE INCIDENTS

     

    Two Afrikaners died in April due to police action: also, an Afrrikaner in Kempton Park was cursed and beaten up by a black officer when he’d gone to talk to a detective there as a witness to a crime-case…

    ———————————–

    FREDERICK OLIVIER, 19, FOUND DEAD HANGING IN HIS CELL – SAPS WESTONARIA.
    Olivier Frederick 19 POLICE CLAIMED HE SUICIDED IN WESTONARIA POLICE CELL APR5201128 April 2011  – Westonaria SAPS station. Frederick Olivier, a young Afrikaner man who was looking forward to his hoped-for first job at the local gold-mine, was arrested on Tuesday, April 5, 2011, allegedly when ‘police received a complaint of disturbing the peace.’

    He was dumped in the holding cells of Westonaria police station for ‘public drunkenness’, said constable Lienkie Lefekane ‘for the obligatory four-hour drying out period.  Olivier, claimed Lefekane, was then “discovered hanging in his cell when police officers checked on him.”  The police did not say whether Olivier was in the cell alone that Tuesday-night.

    According to Olivier’s father Ollie, this version of events makes no sense. His son had bruises on his face which looked as if he had been beaten up. He didn’t have those bruises when he was taken into custody by the Westonaria police.  “My son had a bright future ahead of him,” says Olivier. “He was hopeful of getting a job on the mine, where he recently applied, and was supposed to get engaged in September. Why would he do something like this?”

    Olivier has his suspicions about his son’s death in custody. “I have photographs of my son in his casket. He looks as if he’s been beaten up. He had no mark on his face when he was arrested.” Meanwhile, Lefekane insists that there was “nothing untoward regarding this case. He was arrested for drunkenness, and he committed suicide by hanging himself in his cell.
    A case has been opened and is being investigated,” says Lefekane.
    http://www.looklocal.co.za/looklocal/content/en/randfontein-westonaria/randfontein-westonaria-news-crime?oid=4374194&sn=Detail&pid=489914&Boy-dies-in-police-custody

    —————————-

    Morné Pieterse cursed, beaten by SAPS Welkom
    PIETERSE MORNE beaten by cop WELKOM POLICE STATIONWelkom. 2011-04-27 An Afrikaner resident of Welkom who wanted to talk to a detective to help with a crime-investigation, was cursed and beaten instead.  Pieterse ‘s eyes now are blackened after he and his girlfriend Rhona went to the police station on Friday at around 7pm, looking for a specific detective they wanted to talk to, to give him information they had about a certain crime.
    (source: Tom de Wet). A black female clerk in civilian clothes cursed Rhona, shouting that they would have to contact the detective themselves, and to ‘fkoff’ out of her police station. Then a male uniformed police officer jumped over the counter and beat Pieterse in the face several times. The couple then asked other police officials at the station to help them lodge a formal complaint against the cop who had assaulted him – but nobody wanted to help. Eventually the detective they’d enquired after, came to the police station. And then Pieterse was beaten by the same cop again – in front of the detective, who intervened. Pieterse has lodged a formal complaint at the Virginia SAPS against the Welkom police man.SAPS captain Stephen Thakeng said ‘a senior officer will be appointed to investigate the complaint. If a guilty person can be identified strong action will be taken.’

    http://www.beeld.com/Suid-Afrika/Nuus/Paar-glo-geskel-man-aangerand-in-polisiestasie-20110427

    —————————-

    Jeanette Odendaal shot dead by cop outside Kempton Park police station
    Odendaal Jeanette EXECUTED BY COP WHILE SHE PHONED 10111 28-APR-2011 source: Mfundekelwa Mkhulisi, Sowetan ” I heard a gunshot then a loud bang. A tall black policeman got out of his car pointing a gun at the female white driver of a VW Golf.”
    An incident outside Kempton Park police station where a police officer allegedly shot and killed a 45-year-old woman is said not to have been sparked by a car accident. An eyewitness told Sowetan newspaper yesterday that a shot was fired at the woman before her car collided with the officer’s car. “I heard a gunshot then a loud bang. A tall black policeman got out of his car pointing a gun at the driver of a VW Golf,” the eyewitness said. He said the officer was saying something but he could not hear what he said. The eyewitness said the officer then pulled Jeanette Odendaal out of her car and put her on the pavement. This version contrasted with that given by the police, who first claimed that the officer was inside the station “when he heard a loud bang”.
    Lt Col Tshisikhawe Ndou said ‘once outside, the 38-year-old sergeant noticed the woman had crashed her car into a parked duty vehicle”. source However this version of events was contradicted by a car-park guard, who illustrated exactly the way in which Jeanette Odendaal was shot dead:

     

    ODENDAAL Jeanette witness Baloyi shows HOW SHE WAS EXECUTED BY COP Kempton Park

    Police refused to let journalists take a look at the cars…
    Sowetan reports its eyewitness as saying that the cars were driving in the same direction before a shot was fired.
    “I was at the police station to collect a car that needed panelbeating. I was about 500 metres away from the incident and saw clearly what happened. I think something else sparked the shooting and definitely it was not the collision,” he said.
    Police did not allow reporters to view the cars. Mrs
    Odendaal’s family, who live not far from the station – she works as a clerk in the Children’s Court – said they were still in shock. The black officer was arrested, released on a mere R3,000 bail and the case has been repeatedly postponed. It’s now scheduled for October trial. The Independent Complaints Directorate spokes,mamMoses Dlamini said: “It is not clear at this stage what the deceased was doing at the police station”. Mrs Odendaal was seated inside her car, calling the emergency number on her cellphone when she was shot dead through the window.  The DA said it was dismayed to learn of this second death after Andries Tatane who died two weeks ago in Ficksburg at the hands of the police.

    http://www.facebook.com/editalbum.php?aid=42039&add=1&id=100001108447359&htmlup=1

    ———————–

    Louwrens Gebhardt, 18, killed in Westonaria: case moved to Protea, Soweto:
    The murder case of the three black male adults who are accused of murdering the captain of the WeGebhardt Lourens 18 capt Westonaria HS rugby team KILLED Nov72010stonaria High School team, Louwrens Gebhardt, 18, was transferred out of the Westonaria Regional Court, to the Magistrate’s court in ProteaSoweto – purportedly because the investigating police feared that the murdered young man’s father —  a retired police officer — ‘could influence the court proceedings in Westonaria.

    (source: Johan Meyer, LookLocal.co.za ) Moreover, two of the three black adults who were charged with Gebhardt’s murder, Sibusiso Ntuli (19) and Ndiphiwe Mkhungekwana (19). were given a mere R2,000 bail. AfriForum has since decided to become involved with the case after it seemed like no progress has been made in it since he died so mysteriously in November. The three suspects handed themselves in to police in March and April. The 22-year-old Mdingi’s bail application was refused as he was considered a flight risk. The three accused face charges of murder and assault.

    Nantes Kelder, Head of Community Safety at AfriForum said  the possible reasons for this decision raises concern. The investigating officer Danie Nortjé, told Kelder that they had the case transferred because the dead youth’s father, a retired police officer, “may have an influence on the court proceedings in the Westonaria regional court.

    Said Kelder: “The fact that Nortjé said that, is a slap in the face of the independent judiciary,because this means he is drawing into question the integrity of the magistrate and other staff members of the court,” Kelder said. “AfriForum will continuously monitor the court case to ensure that everything runs smoothly,” Kelder added.


    http://www.looklocal.co.za/looklocal/content/en/randfontein-westonaria/randfontein-westonaria-news-crime?oid=4349859&sn=Detail&pid=489920&Boy-in-school-fight–case-transferred-to-Soweto

    http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?pid=250769&l=f05a19dcdc&id=100001108447359

    http://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/Baseball-bat-accused-get-bail-20110409

     

    Sasolburg gang of cops waging reign of terror against smallholders are still not arrested’  – magistrate C J Musi says he’s worried…

    SASOLBURG_cops_terrorise_white_smallholders

                               http://www.beeld.com/Suid-Afrika/Nuus/Polisielede-help-skurk-inbreek-20110603

     

    Number of people shot dead by police doubled since 2006: overall deaths in police action/custody soared to 860 in 2010 book year:

    Gareth Newham of the Institute for Security Studies reported in May 2011 that the number of people shot dead by police doubled since 2006; that the overall deaths in police custody or resulting from police action, at 860 in the 2009-2010 year, were markedly higher than the average of 695 a year in the five-year period from 2003 to 2008. But that’s not all: the number of people shot dead by the SA policing authorities, also jumped from 281 in 2005-2006 to 521 in 2010 – giving South Africa the dubious distinction of having one of the highest recorded rates of homicides by police officers in the world. By comparison: the United States (overall population of 311-million) had 439 arrest-related homicides by law enforcement personnel in 2006.) http://bit.ly/pO2pPm

     

    Amnesty International warned about large number of deaths and rapes in South African police custody in its 2011 summary.

    Amnesty International flagged police torture, deaths in custody, extrajudicial killings and threats to the work of human rights defenders as matters of concern in South Africa.  It cited Independent Complaints Directorate (ICD) figures for April 2009 to March 2010 –  which recorded five direct complaints against the police of torture and 920 complaints of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm by the police –  and only some of which were being investigated for evidence of torture. Seven of 294 deaths in custody in 2010 were linked to torture and 90 others to “injuries sustained in custody”.  The ICD also investigated 24 complaints of rape by police officers. Also of concern to Amnesty were the changes to the Criminal Procedures Act that allows police to use deadly force against a suspect resisting or fleeing arrest, where they believed there is a risk of “future death” if the suspect escaped. A.I. warned: “This proposed change allowed for the use of deadly force “in circumstances beyond those allowed by international human rights standards”.The report also raised concerns over threats to freedom of expression and the work of human rights defenders. It cited, among others, the trial of 12 supporters of housing rights movement Abahlali baseMjondolo on charges relating to violence in the Kennedy Road informal settlement in 2009 and the unlawful arrest of Sunday Times journalist Mzilikazi wa Afrika after his reports on an alleged hit squad linked to senior Limpopo provincial government members. Also of concern were ANC plans for a media appeals tribunal and the tabling of the draconian Protection of Information Bill. Amnesty International did not however condemn the well-recorded, ongoing genocide of the Afrikaners and the unconstitutional hatespeech targetting the white minority for genocide by the ANC regime.
    http://www.iol.co.za/news/politics/amnesty-red-flag-police-brutality-1.1068706

    sources:

    Mail & Guardian: 866 people died in SA police custody in 2009/2010 bookyear 2010 http://bit.ly/pO2pPm

    Man dies in police custody: KwaThema Sept 8 2011:

    Deaths in custody during apartheid up to 1994:

    Deaths in custody under ANC regime: Sowetan: 566 deaths in police custody in the year 2010 up to Oct 2010: but the total by the end of the 2010 bookyear was 860…

    SAPS 566 PEOPLE KILLED IN POLICE CUSTODY IN 2010 Sowetan

    http://www.sowetan.co.za  – Parties urge probe into 566 deaths 23 Nov 2010

    About Adriana Stuijt
    Retired South African-Dutch journalist formerly Sunday Times Johannesburg

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