Two police officers from Beitbridge rural suspected of torturing, killing a suspect they had arrested for an alleged theft, and burning the body, have appeared in court charged with murder.
Xander Siasayi (33) of Tuli police station and Daniel Peyani (32) of Zezani police station are accused of killing and then hiding the body of Blessing Nare (23) in a drain.
Nare was arrested and accused by the pair of stealing R10 140 and US$200.
Neither officers asked to plead to the charges when they appeared before Beitbridge resident magistrate, Mr Toyindepi Zhou, who remanded them in custody to February 15.
Prosecuting, Mr Ronald Mugwagwa said on December 20 at around 8am, Nare’s girlfriend Beatrice Ndou (24), who is employed at Toporo Special Bottle Store, made a report at Swereki Police Base alleging that Nare broke into the bottle store and stole R10 140 and US$200 in cash. Siasayi and Peyani, who were manning the police base, did not record this formal report in the report book.
But that evening at around 7pm the two picked up Nare from the bottle store, where he was living with Beatrice, and took him as his co-accused, Godknows Mbedzi, back to Swereki Police Base where they spent the night.
The State then alleges that at the police base early the next morning, starting around 6am, the two officers struck Nare with a stick on the thighs and buttocks several times, interrogating him about the alleged break-in while Mbedzi watched helplessly.
Mbedzi was released two hours later but the two police officers took Nare to Toporo Business Centre to try and recover the stolen money.
At the business centre, the police officers took Narare into his room and again assaulted him with a stick on the buttocks several times in a bid to recover the money.
On the same day, at around 8pm, the two were seen at Swereki shops without Nare, who never made it home and was not held in custody.
On January 4, Nare’s mother, Sibongile Ndou, told Inspector Marisa, who is the Officer-in-Charge at Zezani, that her son had not returned home since his arrest a fortnight earlier
The following day, Insp Marisa proceeded to Swereki base and upon interviewing Siasayi and Peyani, he was told that Nare escaped from their custody and efforts to chase him were in vain.
Insp Marisa discovered that Nare had been arrested, but no warned and cautioned statement had been recorded from him.
He also discovered that the unlawful entry and theft report from the bottle store was not recorded in the report book at the base.
A search started on January 7, and Nare’s decomposing remains were found stashed in a white sack inside a concrete conduit small drainage system.
A skull, which was detached from the body, two limbs with feet and two arms were also found.
The clothes and body parts seemed to have been burnt before being shoved in the sack.