TWO Beitbridge police officers have been arrested after they allegedly assaulted an unlawful entry and theft suspect to death, burnt his remains which they then stashed in a sack and hid them in a drainage system to conceal the crime.
The two police officers – Constables Xander Siasayi (33) and Daniel Peyani (32) of Tuli and Zezani police camps were arrested on Friday for the offence they allegedly committed while investigating an unlawful entry and theft case which had occurred at Toporo Special Bottle Store in Zezani.
Police spokesperson for Matabeleland South Province Inspector Loveness Mangena confirmed the incident and said investigations were underway.
Insp Mangena further said they were still searching for the missing parts of the victim and trying to find out how and why the body was burnt.
Circumstances according to the police statement are that on 27 December, 2020, at about 8am, the now deceased’s girlfriend, Beatrice Ndou (24), who is employed at Toporo Special Bottle Store, made a report at Swereki Police Base alleging that her boyfriend broke into her workplace and stole cash amounting to 10 140 rand and $200.
Upon receiving the report, Constables Siasayi and Peyani, who were manning the police base, did not record it in the report book.
On the same day at about 7pm, the now deceased was picked up from Toporo Special Bottle Store where he was residing with his girlfriend, Beatrice.
Siasayi and Peyani then escorted him and a co-accused, Godknows Mbedzi, back to Swereki Police Base where they spent the night under police custody. “On the 28th of December 2020 at around 6am while at the police base, the accused persons assaulted the now deceased with a stick on the thighs and butt0cks several times interrogating him about the alleged stolen money,” police sources said.
“This they did in the presence of Godknows Mbedzi. On the same date at around 8am, Godknows Mbedzi was released whilst the accused persons took the now deceased to Toporo Business Centre in a bid to recover the stolen money.
On 29 December at about 12noon, Siasayi and Peyani, in the company of Gwanda District Administrator, who is also the owner of Toporo Special Bottle Store, Kilibone Ndou, escorted the now deceased from Swereki police base proceeding to Toporo Business Centre once again.
At about 2pm on the same day, the two police officers were seen at Swereki shops without the now deceased who never reached home.
On 4 January, 2021, the deceased’s mother, Sibongile Ndou, told one Inspector Marisa, who is the Officer in Charge at Zezani, that her son did not return home since he was arrested by the Swereki Base police officers. On 5 January, 2021, Insp Marisa proceeded to Swereki base and upon interviewing the investigating officers, he was told that the now deceased escaped from their custody by running away and their efforts to chase him were in vain.
Insp Marisa discovered that the now deceased was arrested but no warned and cautioned statement had been recorded from him.
He also discovered that the unlawful entry and theft report was not recorded in the report book at the base. A search was commissioned on 7 January and the decomposing remains of the deceased were found stashed in a white sack inside a concrete drainage system.
A skull, which was detached from the body, two legs and two arms were also found.
The clothes and body parts seemed to have been burnt before being stashed in the sack.
This comes after a 20-year-old Bulawayo woman was two weeks ago hospitalised at Mpilo Central Hospital after sustaining broken arms and legs while being assaulted by Nkulumane police for allegedly trying to escape from the cells, CITE reported.
The accused woman has been identified as Lynette Langa.
Narrating the ordeal to CITE, her mother, Gcinani Donga said her daughter was arrested on Christmas day for allegedly stealing her boyfriend’s phone following an altercation between the two.
“So while she was in Nkulumane police station cells, she tried to escape through the ceiling which had been opened by another arrested person who escaped through it sometime,” said Donga.
“The police looked for her and found her in the ceiling and threw her to the floor. When I went to the station to see her, they told me she had escaped and they did not know how.”
Donga said the police then told her they had removed Langa who looked asthmatic from the cells and put her in a corridor from which they said she disappeared.
“I only saw my daughter on Tuesday morning when I was opening the gate,” Donga told CITE.
She said her daughter told her that the three police officers took her to a dark cell and beat her from there using a plank until she became unconscious.
— SundayNews/ CITE