Five of the police who allegedly kill, still behind bars this weekend

Henry

Five officers attached to the police’s public order unit on Cradock will still have to remain behind bars this weekend after their application for bail was postponed until Monday.

The five, Melikhaya Madubedube (41), Ibanathi Jack (33), Ndumiso Mpondo (29), Khulile Damane (46) and Vuyani Mahlasela (31), are each facing one charge of murder, two of attempted murder, assault with the intent to seriously injure, as well as three charges of kidnapping.

They were arrested last Thursday and Friday respectively after the body of a 29-year-old man was found on the premises of the Cradock police station a few days earlier.

The accused were on duty, engaged in crime prevention patrols in a police minibus, when they came across one of the victims, says Luxolo Tyali, spokesperson for the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).

They apparently handcuffed the man, assaulted him in the vehicle and questioned him about a stolen mobile phone that belonged to one of the accused.

“They allegedly drove out of town on the R61 road, where they stopped, assaulted the man, sprayed him with pepper spray and strangled him.”

The victim apparently referred the accused to the second victim as someone who might have known something about the stolen mobile phone, says Tyali.

They apparently drove back to town, tracked down the second victim and took him to a remote area where he was apparently tortured in a similar way to the other victim.

The second victim apparently mentioned a third person’s name. This was also tracked down and apparently taken to a place outside the town where the same fate as the others allegedly awaited him.

At the end of their shift, the accused returned to the police station, where they apparently told the first two victims to hit the road.

“The third victim was apparently dragged to a tap, where water was sprayed over him. However, he could not stand on his own. The accused apparently left the victim on the premises of the station and dispersed.”

The station commander came across his body there. An ambulance was called, but the man was pronounced dead at the scene.

The surviving victims identified the accused as the officers who allegedly assaulted them.

The state opposes the five’s application for bail and the case will resume on Monday.