Ipid probe into death of Rastafarian 'as a result of police action'

File picture: Itumeleng English/African News Agency (ANA)

File picture: Itumeleng English/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Dec 20, 2019


Cape Town – The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) is investigating the death of a Wellington man who was reportedly assaulted. 

Jan de Bruin’s family have accused police, who raided his home on Saturday, of being responsible for his death.

According to De Bruin’s cousin, Anna de Bruin, the family was braaiíng when police arrived.

She claimed that because Jan de Bruin was a Rastafarian, police had on previous occasions accused him of selling cannabis.

She said after police arrived on Saturday, a family member in a room allegedly “saw them (police officers) beat Jan and his friends”.

“They (police) did not find anything, so we have no idea why they were even here. They have always targeted him, destroying his place. Because he is a Rasta they assumed he sold dagga, but he didn’t.

“They have never found anything here. He sold fruit, vegetables and herbs. He also made little cars out of wire, and his business was successful.” 

She said police allegedly took both De Bruin and one of his friends to the police station.

She said they were informed the next day that De Bruin had died.

“It was very painful for us. There was nothing we could do,” she said.

Police spokesperson FC Van Wyk said both an inquest and a case of attempted murder had been opened.

“An inquest and a case of attempted murder have been opened for investigation after an incident occurred at Colibri Street in Wellington on Saturday, at about 5.55pm.

“According to reports, Wellington police and public order police were busy with the execution of search warrants at the mentioned address when a group of people started to attack them. There was a scuffle between the members and residents.

“Five suspects, aged between 18 and 59, were arrested for attacking the police,” Van Wyk said.

He added that a 58-year-old man had died during the incident.

“A post-mortem will be conducted to determine the cause of his death,” he said.

Ipid spokesperson Sontaga Seisa said: “Ipid confirms that we are investigating the death as a result of police action in Wellington. No arrest have yet been made.”

Cape Times

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