Friday, April 16, 2010
Cops granted bail over death
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'Killer cops' get bail
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Johannesburg - Four policemen arrested for allegedly killing a suspect in custody were released on bail in the Roodepoort Magistrate's Court on Friday.
The three constables and a warrant officer in the Roodepoort police station's crime prevention unit, west of Johannesburg, were arrested on April 8.
Collins Makumbene, 40, Siphiwe Joshua Ramosa, 35, Teys Jabulani Mashakeni, 28, and Kabelo Maseka, 29, allegedly assaulted Sibusiso Molefe, 27, from Tshepisong in the West Rand on April 3.
Molefe, who was held for armed robbery in which a woman was shot and wounded, died on the way to hospital after the alleged assault.
In their bail application the policemen said they intended pleading not guilty to the murder charge they are facing.
They said they have been with the police force for less than eight years, with each of the constables having two years of service and the warrant officer seven.
The officers also told the court that they had children and unemployed partners, which made them bread winners in their families. They then told the magistrate that they could only afford bail money of R1 000 each.
During the bail hearing the prosecutor read out a statement by the Independent Complaints Directorate's (ICD) investigating officer of the case which supported that the policemen be granted bail.
In the statement the investigator wrote how the policemen allegedly assaulted Molefe with a firearm and a heavily set policeman hit his head against a fire extinguisher during the incident.
He said it was after the alleged assault and when Molefe had been placed in police cells that he complained of a severe headache and had multiple bruises.
Police at the holding cells were alerted to Molefe's complaints and they drove him to hospital where he was certified dead on arrival.
A post-mortem report confirmed that Molefe's cause of death was severe head injuries as a result of a blunt object having been used. An identity parade is expected to be conducted for a witness to identify those implicated.
The four policemen, who were supported by family members who filled the public gallery in court, were released on R1 000 bail each on condition that they did not interfere with witnesses.
They were also ordered not to leave Gauteng and to steer clear of visiting the Roodepoort police station without prior permission from the station commander and the ICD investigator.
Their case was postponed to May 13 for further investigation.
Meanwhile, after their release on bail the officers are expected to be served by their employer with suspension letters that will also notify them of a pending internal disciplinary hearing against them.
Comments by Sonny
How many 'suspects' and members of the public have to die before justice is seen to be done in this case?
Is justice dead in SA!