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

Durban - Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) are waiting for post the mortem results of a Phoenix resident who was allegedly assaulted by an off duty police officer on New Years Day. 

They will then decide on what decision to take with the investigation. 

A Durban policeman is allegedly at the centre of the incident that saw 40-year-old Woolaganathan Govinden being physically assaulted by a group of men an hour before New Years Day.

It is alleged that a witness had come forward and given a statement to detectives at the Phoenix police station. 

It is alleged that Govinden noticed a couple, he knew, arguing during what is believed to have been a domestic dispute and according to a source Govinden had allegedly tried to intervene and break up the heated fight between the couple. 

When Govinden tried to intervene and calm the situation he was assaulted allegedly by a police officer. 

He was was punched and kicked and another person had also attacked Govinden and at one stage his attackers allegedly had him in a head lock suffocating him and cutting of oxygen to his brain. 

Govinden collapsed on the roadside and was then taken home by a friend.

According to a source, Govinden's sister, whose name has been excluded, had heard about the assault and went to visit him at his home. 

She is alleged to have found him in poor health and immediately rushed him to Entabeni hospital. She also notified police. 

Phoenix police had opened an attempted murder docket for investigation.

Govinden was admitted to the intensive care unit. His condition deteriorated. He died on Saturday. 

His sister had notified police that Govinden was beaten up by two people known to him. 

Police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbele said confirmed the incident. 

"It is alleged that on a man was at Tromplen Place in Phoenix when he was allegedly assaulted and strangled by a known suspect. The victim was taken to hospital where he later succumbed to his injuries,"Mbele said.

A case of murder has been opened at Phoenix police station. She said no arrest has been made. 

IPID spokesperson Sontaga Seisa said they were informed of this incident. 
 
"We are waiting for the post mortem to be conducted on the body to ascertain the cause of death. As of now the matter is still with the police. We are not aware of any arrest at this stage,"Seisa said.

eThekwini municipality ward 49 councillor Tino Pillay said it is totally unacceptable and that matters can be handled without violence. 

"The accused must face the fill might of the law,"he said.

Daily News