Eight South African police officers are due to appear in Vanderbijlpark Magistrate’s Court for the alleged torture and murder of a Nigerian, Ibrahim Olamilekan Badmus.
Ms Catherine Tenteza, Ms Gerhard Der-Walt, Mr Nkosinathi Ngwenya, Mr Aaron Arends, Mr Nomkhosi Khoza, Mr. Emmanuel Ngwane, Mr Msebenzi Mkhuma and Mr Joseph Mamasela were arrested last Friday by South Africa’s Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID).
A statement by Nigeria’s Consul General in Johannesburg, Godwin Adama, on Sunday, said Badmus, 25, a native of Ibadan, Oyo State was killed when the officers interrogated and suffocated him on Oct. 10, 2017, in Vanderbijlpark.
Adama commended the IPID who he said assured of a thorough investigation and they had kept to their word.
“It will set a new standard in prosecution of cases involving Nigerians in South Africa. It will also send a strong message out,” he said.
He also expressed hope that the accused would be convicted to serve as a deterrence to others.
IPID spokesperson Moses Dlamini had said that the accused claimed that they had found drugs on the deceased, a story he dismissed as false and an attempt to cover up the torture and murder of the deceased.
He said two pathologists who conducted the post-mortem confirmed that the deceased had indeed been tortured.
“There was a huge outcry from the Nigerian community when the death was discovered. At the time, the police also alleged that they were attacked by ‘drug dealers’,” he said.
Dlamini said IPID investigators had probed the matter amid a lot of “hostility” from some members of the South African Police Service.
Nigerians have often been targeted in xenophobic attacks in South Africa, a situation that persists despite outcry from the authorities and both governments.