Deaths in SAP cells 1963 to 1990; compared to 2013
6 July 2013 Leave a comment
Did ‘thousands of black people’ really die in police custody during apartheid? Well no… not even ‘hundreds’….
- 73 people died in police-custody from 1963 to 1990 (a 27-year-period) link . That’s an average of 2.7 deaths a year.
- by 2012 under the ANC-regime, 900+ people died in police custody in just ONE YEAR… link
The current ANC-regime and its supporters often publish propaganda-claims about ‘thousands’ of black South Africans having died in SA Police custody during apartheid – and this is now widely believed.
However this is not backed up by the statistics from that era: from 1963 to 1990, in a 27-year-period at the height of the anti-apartheid riots, a total of 73 people were recorded as having died in SA police custody. http://www.sahistory.org.za/topic/list-deaths-detention.
Critics will argue that the apartheid-statistics were ‘not reliable’, however even if they were understated by 100%, the apartheid police-cell deaths still pale by comparison to the latest report from the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) which claims that between 720 to 900 people died in SAPoliceService custody in the book year 2011/2 alone. (depending on which source wrote the story). Deaths in SAPS custody were 695 in 2006 and by 2010 they had reached 860 deaths.
By 2011, they were well above 900 deaths. Let’s repeat that again: more than 900 people died in police-custody in 2011 ALONE. 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?
By April 11 2013, it was reported by the SABC that ‘at least’ 720 people had died ‘due to police conduct’ in the 2011/2 book year: but that only 36 people were convicted for those offences. The SABC quoted the Independent Police Investigation Directorate spokesman Moses Dlamini.( The Sunday Times quoted ‘at least 900 people’) .The IPID also revealed that it had received almost 5,000 complaints against the SAPS during the 2011/12 financial year (which runs from March 2011 to April 2012).
- The IPID spokesman said “many incidents were not public knowledge, unlike some deaths, which made news such as the incident where taxi-driver Mido Macia died in police cells after being dragged behind a police van – a horrific event which was recorded on bystanders’ video-cameras and placed on YouTube. However according to a Sunday Times report on March 4 2013, ‘over 900 people died in South African Police Custody. In one year. http://www.timeslive.co.za/local/2013/03/04/over-900-die-in-south-african-police-custody – http://www.sahistory.org.za/topic/list-deaths-detention
Apartheid: deaths in SA Police custody from 1963 to 1971: names, dates, places:
Above: 1963, there were two deaths in SA police cells: of Solwandle Ngudie, 41, on September 5 1963, at Kompol, Pretoria (held 17 days) listed death cause: suicide by hanging. Also in September, the death cause for Bellington Mampe, age unknown, and who was held in a police cell in Worcester for 140 days, was not explained.
In 1964, there were two deaths: of James Tyita, age unknown, on 24 January and who died in Port Elizabeth allegedly by suicide (hanging); and on Sept 9 1964 Mr Suliman Salogee, 28, died in Johannesburg after he was held 65 days, allegedly by suicide: ‘jumped from the seventh floor’.
In 1965, there were two deaths in SA police cells, both in the Transkei homeland: and both on September 5, where Ngeni Gaga, 28, and Pongolosha Hoy (age?) died ‘of natural causes.’
In 1966, three people died, all three of ‘suicide’: James Hamakwayo on September 19 after 13 days in detention; Hangula Shonyeka on September 19 after 40 days in detention; and Leon Pin on November 11 after one day at Leeukop Prison, Pretoria.
In 1967, two people died of unknown causes: Mr Ah Yan, 63, on May 1 after 37 days of detention at the Silverton Police Station, and Mr Alpheus Madiba on September 9, after one day in a further unspecified police cell in Namibia. (South Africa’s government was also under control of then-South West Africa at that time under a UN-mandate).
In 1968, there were three deaths: but the record-keeping also started becoming particularly poor: it was noted that three people had died of unknown causes at Pretoria Prison: namely Jundea Tubukwa on September 11, one totally unknown person on an unknown date, and on October 3, Mr James Lenkoe died after five days in detention. Their ages also were unknown
In 1969, fourteen people died, but details of only 7 are known of: Nicodemus Kgoathe (Feb 4 held: Silverton Police Sta. Died: HF Verwoerd Hospital ); Solomon Modipane (Feb 28 Held: Silverton Police Sta. Died: HF Verwoerd Hospital); James Lenkoe (March 10 held at Pretoria Prison, died in Port Elizabeth police cells); Caleb Mayekiso (June 1 died in Ondangwa , South West Africa police cells ); Michael Shivute (June 17 Pretoria Prison); Jacob Monakgotha (Sept 10 died at Maitland Police Station, Cape Town); and Imam Abdullah Haroon, (Sept 27). Their causes of deaths were not registered.
In 1970, there were no deaths recorded in police cells.
In 1971, two people died: Mr Mthayeni Cuthsela (held 40 days in Pondoland, died at Transkei Hospital January 21) and Mr Ahmed Timol Ahmed(died October 27 held at John Vorster Square, Johannesburg and died at Transkei Hospital after five days in detention.
From 1972 to 1976 (above) there were no deaths recorded in SA police cells.
Apartheid: deaths in SA Police custody in 1976:
In 1976 (above) a total of 14 deaths were recorded in SA police cells, all of unidentified causes; and amongst them one 16-year-old youth who was held for nine days at Modderbee Prison – and also, one person remained anonymous: and none of the death-causes were listed:
They were: Joseph Mdluli, 50, died after less than one day at the Durban Security Headquarters; William Tswane, 25 July, less than one day at Modderbee Prison, East Rand; Mapetla Mohapi, 25, August 5, after 22 days in Kei Road Jail, East London; Luke Mazwembe, 32, less than one day at Coledon Square, Cape Town; Dumisani Mbatha, 16, September 25, after nine days in Modderbee Prison where he died; Jacob Mashabane, 22, died October 5 at the Far East Rand Hospital after he was held at an unknown police cell for four days; on October 5 an unidentified man died at the Johannesburg Fort; on October 9 Edward Mzolo, 40, died at the Johannesburg Fort after 8 days; on November 19, Ernest Mamashila, 35, died after three days in the Carltonville police cells; on November 26, Tbalo Mosala, 60, died after 87 days in a cell at the Johannesburg Fort; on December 11 Wellington Tshazibane, 30, died at Balfour Transvaal after two days; and on December 15, George Botha, 30, died: he was held for five days: first at Butterworth Transkei, then at Johan Vorster Square Johannesburg: he died at the Sanlam Building in Port Elizabeth: The list does not provide any causes of death.
Apartheid: deaths in SA Police custody: 1977
They were: Lawrence Ndanga, 53, January 8 (unknown place, held 51 days); Dr Nanaotha Ntshuntsha, 43 (January 9, after 26 days at Johannesburg Fort; Elmon Malele, 23, (February 15, after 25 days at John Vorster Square, Pretoria); Matthews Mabelane, February 15, died in Johannesburg; Joyi Tsasifeni, 45, died February 22 at ‘a nursing home’ after 22 days (?); Samuel Malinga, 35, (February 26, after 106 days at John Vorster Square Police Headquarters cell, Johannesburg; Aaron Khoza, 27, July 7, after ten days at Idutywa police cells, Transkei homeland; Phakamile Mabija, 59, August 1 after 65 days Pietermaritzburg Zululand; Elijah Loza, 26, August 3 after one day in Pietermaritzbrg; Dr Hoosen Haffejee, 62; August 13, after 1 day in Edendale Hospital; Bayepin Mzizi, 31, September 12, after 24 days in Pietermaritzburg; Steve Biko, (31) died September 12 after he was held (and tortured) for 31 days: he was transferred from several police cells, was assaulted enroute and also in the Port Elizabeth cells and died in Pretoria Prison.
Above: On 18 August 1977, activist Steve Biko, 31, who was Ghandi-ite: a supporter of non-violent confrontation – as opposed to the ANC’s armed struggle — was arrested at a police roadblock under the Terrorism Act No 83 of 1967 and interrogated by officers of the Port Elizabeth security police including Harold Snyman and Gideon Nieuwoudt. This interrogation took place in the Police Room 619 of the Sanlam Building in Port Elizabeth.The interrogation lasted twenty-two hours and included torture and beatings resulting in a coma. He suffered a major head injury while in police custody at the Walmer Police Station, in a suburb of Port Elizabeth, and was chained to a window grille for a day. On 11 September 1977, police loaded him in the back of a Land Rover, naked and restrained in manacles, and began the 1100 km drive to Pretoria to take him to a prison with hospital facilities.He was nearly dead owing to the previous injuries. He died shortly after arrival at the Pretoria prison, on 12 September. The police claimed his death was the result of an extended hunger strike, but an autopsy revealed multiple bruises and abrasions and that he ultimately succumbed to a brain hemorrhage from the massive injuries to the head, Later post mortems revealed that he had died from a counter-coup injury to the brain.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Biko
Apartheid: deaths in SA Police custody: 1978 to 1980:
In 1978 (above) there was one recorded death in SA Police Custody: Mr Lungile Tabalaza, 19, on 10 July, after less than one day at the Sanlam Building Police cells, Port Elizabeth;
in 1979 no deaths were recorded .
In 1980, (above) there was one death: Mr Saul Ndzumo, 58, who died on 10 September in the Umtata police cells, Transkei homeland after nine days detention.
Apartheid: deaths in SA Police custody: 1981 to 1986
In 1981, two people died in SA Police detention: (above) Mr Manana Mgqweto, 60, on September 17 in Engcobo, Transkei homeland; and Mr Tshithhwa Muothe, 28, died on November 12 after two days in the police cells of the Venda homeland;
In 1982, there were two deaths: Dr Neil Aggett, 28, died on February 5 after 70 days of detention at the John Vorster Square Johannesburg security-police headquarters. And Mr Ernest Dipale, 21, also died there on August 8 after three days of detention. Dr Neil Aggett: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neil_Aggett
In 1983, there were two deaths: Mr Simon Mndawe, 23, died on March 8 at the Nelspruit prison after 14 days of detention, and Paris Malatji, 23, died on July 5 on the same day he was detained at the Protea Police Station in Soweto.
In 1984, three deaths: Mr Samuel Tshikudo, 50, held at Venda for 77 days; Mr Mxolisi Sipele, in June at the Tshizidzini Hospital after 150 days detention; and Mr Ephraim Mthethwa, 22, died on August 25 at the Sulenkama Hospital, Transkei after he was detained for 165 days in the Durban Central Prison.
In 1985, (above and below) there were two deaths recorded: Andries Raditsela, 29, on May 6 at Baragwanath Hospital after two days detention; and Balandwa Ndondo, 22, died September 24 at the Cala, Transkei homeland police cells, where he was taken the same day.
In 1986, (above and below) there were four deaths: Mr Makompe Kutumela, 25, at the police station of the Lebowa homeland police, where he was arrested the previous day; Mr Peter Nchabaleng, 59, on April 11 at the Uponton police station (1 day); Mr Xoliso Jacobs, 20, October 22 after he was held 129 days at Modderbee Prison; and Simon Mafule, 20, who died in the local hospital after 183 days in Benoni/Boksburg detention.
Below: 1987 to 1989
in 1987 (below) three people died in SAP detention: Mr Benedict Mashoke,20, on March 26, after 215 days detention at the Burgersfort Police station; Mr Eric Mntonga, 35, after one day in the Mdantsane cells, Ciskei homeland; and Nobandla Bani, 56, after 333 days of detention in the North End cells, Port Elizabeth.
In 1988 (below) two people died: Mr Sithembele Zokwe, 36, after one-day detention, Butterworth, Transkei homeland on January 12; and Mr Alfred Makaleng, 27, held for 804 days at the Nylstroom cells; and who died at Johannesburg Hospital.
in 1989 there were no deaths recorded in South African Police detention (below) http://www.sahistory.org.za/topic/list-deaths-detention
In 1990, three people died in SA Police detention: (above), namely Mr Clayton Sizwe Sithole, 20, on January 30, after four days in detention at John Vorster Square, Johannesburg police headquarters; Mr Lucas Tlhotlhomisang, 37, on March 26, seven days detained at Klerksdorp police cells; and Mr Donald Madisha, 30, who died on June 1, at Potgietersrus police cells, where he was detained for 130 days.
Reorganisation of the SA Police from 1990 transition period:
From 1990, the “apartheid-era”- SA Police: ( background on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_African_Police ) was enlarged and reorganized while the country was entering the ‘transition period from apartheid to a non-racial society’ . The police also were renamed, and are now called the SAPoliceService ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_African_Police_Service ).
Because their statistic record-keeping also was reorganised, It can thus be very clearly established that before 1990 – i.e. during the height of the apartheid years – the numbers of people who actually died in police custody were very much lower than the present horrendous death rate in the cells of the current SA Police Service. Every death in any police cell anywhere in the world is always one death too many. With efficient, strictly controlled and supervised policing, such deaths in police custody should not occur at all.
More relevant statistics to help make comparisons: by 1987 South Africa had 4,8 million whites and 18,2 million blacks. The SA police were undermanned during the sixties and early seventies – when the size of the SA police force declined relative to the population. By 2013, South Africa had a population which was soaring well above 51-million, with at least 8million illegal black-Africans from the rest of the continent, not included in this total by SA Statistics.
- Police increased from 48,991 members to 93,600 by 1991 and was renamed South African Police Force:
- By 1981 the police force of roughly 48,991 members represented a ratio of less than 1.5 police per 1,000 people, down from 1.67 per 1,000 people in the 1960s. Alarmed by the increased political violence and crime in the mid-1980s and by the lack of adequate police support, officials then increased the size of the police force to 93,600—a ratio of 2.7 per 1,000 people—by 1991 and the police was renamed to the SAPoliceService.
Before the reorganisation, the SA police were authorized to act on behalf of other government officials when called upon. For example, in rural areas and small towns, where there may be no public prosecutor available, police personnel could institute criminal proceedings. Some ” small-town’ police officers even conducted their own legal post-mortem examinations under the guidance of local doctors. The police could also legally serve as wardens, court clerks, and messengers, as well as immigration, health, and revenue officials. In some circumstances, the police were also authorized to serve as vehicle inspectors, postal agents, and local court personnel.
By 2013 the number of police officers had increased to 225,000 members. Yet — amazingly, with apartheid “officially ended” — the current government obsessively maintains very detailed records of the racial composition of all the country’s workers, including its police-force – while not maintaining any racial demographics of their crime-statistics. (The SAPS currently also consist of a large reserve division named the “South African Reserve Police Service” who often work as low-paid part-time patrol officers with local Citizen-Policing-Forums.) The total policing force has about 225,000 members. In 2010 the police were ‘remilitarised’ after having been reorganized on a civilian basis at the end of apartheid. Some crime-experts believe that this has also been a key cause of an escalation in political repression by the police.
- Guarding police-rights:
- Since 1996, three police unions were founded to represent police personnel’s rights. These are the Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union, which has about 150 000 members; the South African Police Union (SAPU), which has about 35,000 members; and the Public Service Association (PSA), which has about 4,000 members.
- The ANC-government notes that the commissioned officers in the force in 2011 were 57% black, 28% white, 10% coloured, 5% Indian; 70% male, 30% female. Non-commissioned officers were 78% black, 10% coloured, 10% white, 2% Indian; 78% male, 22% female. In reality many of the ‘white’ posts remain unfilled, with whites actively discouraged to apply for these jobs or denied advancement in these posts
932 people died in police custody in SA in 2011/2 – in one year:
Above: about 932 people died in police custody in South Africa in 2011-12, a report by the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) revealed.KwaZulu-Natal had 268 deaths with Gauteng second at 217 deaths and Eastern Cape had 120, the Dispatch Online reported. Meanwhile, eight police officers, implicated in the death of an East Rand taxi driver, are expected to appear in the Daveyton Magistrate’s Court on Monday.The two warrant officers and six constables face a murder charge following the death of Mozambican citizen Mido Macia while in police custody.The officers were video-taped – this was placed on YouTube – tying 27-year-old Macia to the back of a police van and dragging him along a street in Daveyton .Macia, died at the local police station’s cells several hours later. His body was found by a police officer on Tuesday night. A post mortem revealed he died of head- and internal injuries.Ipid spokesman Moses Dlamini said police reported that they had earlier found Macia wrongfully parked on a road and ordered him to move. Macia’s death caused a public outcry against police brutality.The Dispatch Online reported that the Ipid was also investigating the death of a policeman who died in police custody at the Barkly East police station in January, a day after he was detained for allegedly being drunk.
Just a few of the unpunished incidents of police-violence against civilians :
Above: the horrific death of Alzheimer sufferer James Brown, bludgeoned to death while alone in a police station at Kriel, has never been investigated nor the police officer responsible, arrested or tried: source: Mweb journalist Denise Ryan firstname.lastname@example.org