Police brutality: Widow sues police for R5m after alleged assault in a cell

Police brutality: Widow sues police for R5m after alleged assault in a cell

2021-12-04 09:45:00 AM

Police brutality: Widow sues police for R5m after alleged assault in a cell

The six officers have already been charged with Chriswell Gazu’s murder and are on trial in the High Court in Johannesburg, where they have pleaded not guilty.

Randburg widow is taking on the police minister over the brutal death of her husband, allegedly at the hands of a group of SA Police Service (Saps) officers. The six officers – Rudzani Ernest Marumo, Thabang Gerald Makgotla, Mpho Tshikosi, Zanele Bridgette Twala, Mathlodi Catherine Mathube and Moloko Mack Morudo – have already been charged with Chriswell Gazu’s murder and are on trial in the High Court in Johannesburg, where they have pleaded not guilty. Gazu’s widow Nothando is also suing Police Minister Bheki Cele – along with the four alleged main role players – for R5.1 million. The day...

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Randburg widow is taking on the police minister over the brutal death of her husband, allegedly at the hands of a group of SA Police Service (Saps) officers.The six officers – Rudzani Ernest Marumo, Thabang Gerald Makgotla, Mpho Tshikosi, Zanele Bridgette Twala, Mathlodi Catherine Mathube and Moloko Mack Morudo – have already been charged with Chriswell Gazu’s murder and are on trial in the High Court in Johannesburg, where they have pleaded not guilty.

Gazu’s widow Nothando is also suing Police Minister Bheki Cele – along with the four alleged main role players – for R5.1 million.The day 19 October, 2019 started out like any other Saturday for Gazu and his family. A hospital receptionist, Nothando had been working the night before and spent the day catching up on her rest while the doting father took care of their two sons, then aged seven and 13. headtopics.com

ALSO READ:But by dawn the next day, he was lying in a jail cell – allegedly beaten to death by police. Gazu and a friend were arrested for “police interference and assaulting police officers” outside a bar in Cosmo City that night.His friend had got into an altercation and the police arrived and arrested him.

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Gazu then approached the police in an effort to find out why his friend was being arrested and was himself arrested.Gazu’s death was investigated by police watchdog the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid).Spokesperson Grace Langa told Saturday Citizen that he and his friend were apparently severely assaulted at the scene and at Honeydew police station, where they were detained.

“It is alleged the officers assaulted the detainees until [Gazu] collapsed inside the police cell,” she said.An autopsy identified Gazu’s cause of death as multiple blunt force injuries to the head. Nothando remembers vividly the moment she found out her partner of more than 20 years had died. She had raced down to the police station after learning he had been arrested and after about 20 minutes of waiting, saw the paramedics leaving.

“I ran to them to ask how he was doing and they said he was dead,” said Nothando.She described her husband – a sales consultant at Mercantile Bank – as “everything you could ask for” and “a lovely father”.Indeed, the couple’s oldest son, Awande, remembers their last conversation fondly. “We had an argument and he was angry at me that day,” Awande said. headtopics.com

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“And then that night he called me… He was apologising and he told me: ‘The reason I always reprimand and shout at you like this is because I love you.’”Nothando is intent on securing justice. The civil case – in which she is represented by Schindlers Attorneys – lists Cele as well as police officers Marumo, Makgotla, Tshikosi and Twala – who were all also axed this week – as respondents.

ALSO READ:DA exposes ‘police brutality’She is seeking a total of R5 109 776 in loss of support, general damages and constitutional damages. Her papers lay out how Gazu was allegedly handcuffed during the assault and detail the range of injuries he sustained – including “severe” haemorrhaging and kidney damage.

They also emphasise that it wasn’t until a family friend arrived at the police station just before her, that an ambulance was even arranged.She maintains his death was caused by “intentional” assaults and negligence.The Saps deny the allegations but spokesperson Colonel Brenda Muridili said they were “not at liberty to comment on cases that are pending in court”.

Read more: The Citizen News »

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