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Katlehong, Johannesburg - A policeman was strangled by an inmate at the Katlehong police station at the weekend, Gauteng police said on Monday.
Warrant Officer Lennox Phathumzi Latha was strangled with a piece of a blanket, said Colonel Noxolo Kweza.
He was responding to a call from the police cells when he was killed on Sunday.
“He went to the first cell gate, and when he went to second one, he was attacked by inmates who throttled him to death with a blanket that was cut into pieces,” said Kweza.
The inmates then took the keys to the cell, and threw his body into a toilet in the cells.
By the time Latha's colleague realised what had happened, two of the inmates had escaped, while two others were still in the holding cell.
The two escapees were initially arrested on car hijacking charges.
Kweza said police were investigating whether the other two inmates were also involved in the murder.
National police commissioner General Riah Phiyega conveyed her condolences to the family of the deceased.
“General Phiyega saw it befitting to send condolences as this is a great loss,” said her spokesman, Brigadier Lindela Mashigo.
“(She) calls on members to exercise extreme caution when visiting cells and stressed the importance of adhering to the orders governing the management of police cells.” - Sapa