Court hears of cell death

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prison bars may 16 AFP

A prisoner in a KwaZulu-Natal police station's cells has told the Ramsgate High Court that a fellow inmate looked bruised before his death, the Witness reported on Wednesday.

Sandile Shozi testified on Tuesday in the trial of detective constables Mlungisi Eric Msomi, 32, and Sifiso Eugene Cele, 38, for the January 2011 death of Njabulo Khambule at the Msinsini police station.

“When he removed his t-shirt, his body was blue and had marks from being beaten. He could not eat on his own,” Shozi said.

Attorney Larry Seethal questioned whether the inmates would have been able to see Khambule's arrival at the cells with the two policemen. Judge Greg Kruger ordered a visit to the police station. The visit corroborated Shozi's evidence.

Another witness, Sakhile Ngcobo, testified: “He was handcuffed. His hands and face were swollen. He couldn’t stand up and they started hitting him on his knees with the truncheon.”

On Monday, the accused pleaded not guilty to charges against them. They remain out on bail. – Sapa

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