The murder and torture trial of six Honeydew police officers who allegedly beat up and murdered a man while he was in custody in police cells kicked off in the South Gauteng High Court this week.

The murder followed a fender bender that went horribly wrong when police arrived at the scene of the accident and arrested the man and his friend on 19 October 2019.

The murder trial of Constable RE Marumo, Constable Makgotha, Constable M Tshikosi, Constable ZB Twala, Constable MM Morudu and Warrant Officer MC Mothibi from the Honeydew Police Station is set to continue until 7 June 2021. 

Independent Police Investigative Directorate spokesperson, Ndileka Cola, said the officers were facing charges of the torture and murder of Thando Gazu as well as the torture of Msizi Memela, while the friends were detained in custody at the Honeydew police station on 19 October 2019

Kola said Gazu and his friend Msizi Memela were arrested on 19 October 2019 for allegedly assaulting the police officers.

“This was after the deceased bumped a vehicle on the pavement of the road he was trying to park in.  An argument ensued between the deceased and the owner of the bumped vehicle. The police officers arrived and arrested the deceased’s friend who was a passenger,” Kola said.

“The deceased approached the officers to establish why his friend was being arrested.  Another police van arrived with two police officers, who allegedly started to beat the deceased and later arrested him,” Kola said.

“The deceased and his friend were taken to Honeydew Police Station in two different police vans, where the police allegedly continued  assaulting the pair.”

Kola said the officers allegedly assaulted the detainees until Gazu collapsed inside the police cell. 

“The other detained friend called paramedics and they certified  him dead inside the police cell,” Kola said.

Kola said the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) had investigated the death in police custody case, and the outcome of the postmortem had confirmed that Gazu had died due to blunt force injuries to the head. 

“Upon finalising it’s investigation IPID sent disciplinary recommendations to the SAPS, the internal inquiry is still underway and the next hearing date is the 10 June 2021,” Kola said. The murder trial continues.

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Presh JM Reporter

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