The NewAge online reports that an autopsy report has revealed that the Nigerian man who was said to have been killed by police in Vanderbijlpark last week actually died from a drug overdose.
This was revealed by Gauteng MEC for community safety Sizakele NkosiMalobane who marched in the streets of Vanderbijlpark with about 500 residents yesterday. Nkosi-Malobane said the march was aimed at demonstrating anger in a peaceful manner at drugs, prostitution, xenophobia and police attacks that were previously reported in the area.
“After last week’s incident, I received a lot of pressure from our people asking me what I was doing and actually others wanted to start attacking foreign nationals. We therefore wanted to demonstrate our anger peacefully without attacking anyone,” she said.
She said preliminary investigations revealed that the 25-year-old man who was said to have been killed by the police was actually dead from a drug overdose. “The autopsy has revealed that the young man died from a drug overdose. Those police officers who were involved received a tip-off from the community about drug dealings and prostitution in the area and they responded.
“Unfortunately one of the men who was inside the house and had overdosed and died and it was not long ago after the police arrived at the house.”
“If our police are involved in any wrongdoing, you have a right to report the matter and open a case against a police officer but not to attack the police officer. We do not condone police attacks,” Malobane said.
She said three men were arrested and denied bail following the incident. “The guys who were seen attacking the police are in prison and we hope they will not be released and that they will be sent to prison and serve their time. After prison they should be deported back home.” She urged people to respect the law and ensure that they do everything legally when they visit the country.
Emfuleni mayor Simon Mahole Mofokeng said most houses in the area were hijacked. “The MEC’s operation would ensure that those who are came to our country illegally and running illegal activities will be deported back to their country.
However, those who are legal and abiding by the law are welcome.” Many buildings in the area are targeted because owners moved to the towns and leave their homes unoccupied. “We will ensure that we disconnect all the services in these houses that are found to be hijacked and cut off the electricity and water. We will do a house audit and find out who the owners are and if possible confiscate the houses as municipality property. We will also do this in other areas where we believe there are illegal activities going on,” he said.
He encouraged the community to continue in working with the police to fight crime. Vanderbijlpark station commander Nikiwe Hoeane said they appreciated the involvement of the public. “It helps a lot for the criminals to see that the singing of the song ‘we need stability’ is not only sung by the police but that the community is also tired and wants to see change.
This place has been invaded by foreigners both good and bad. So the community is saying they will provide us with information and help bring change in the community” she said. -THABISO MACHAKAfirstname.lastname@example.org