Ipid has said it is investigating the death of a municipal worker who died when striking workers clashed with police.
DURBAN - The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) confirmed it is investigating the death of a municipal worker who died when striking workers clashed with police two weeks ago.

Skhumbuzo Cele died in hospital on May3 after he had sustained a head injury the day before when striking workers clashed with the police outside the City Hall.

It was alleged at the time that Cele had tripped while running from the police, who had been called in to disperse the crowd of striking workers.

Workers from eThekwini’s water, sanitation and electricity departments downed tools two weeks ago in protest against the upgrading of salaries for Umkhonto weSizwe military veterans.

The police fired rubber bullets to disperse the crowd.

Ipid spokesperson Moses Dlamini confirmed on Tuesday they were investigating the case.

“We are waiting for the post-mortem report as they are busy investigating the case. There will be a ballistic report that will determine if the deceased was shot,” he said.

Cele’s brother, Protus Cele, said they wanted to know how Cele was injured.

“We also would like to appeal to the public that if anyone has any information about what happened to our brother, to come forward and help Ipid investigate this matter,” said Protus.

He added that the family were finding it very difficult to accept Skhumbuzo’s death.

“At this moment, all they want to know is what happened. We only read about it in the newspapers, and that is not right. We haven’t got any report from the eThekwini Municipality. They haven’t made any communication with us,” he said.

Provincial SAPS spokesperson Captain Nqobile Gwala said an inquest docket had been opened.

“It is unknown how the victim sustained the head injury. The post-mortem will determine the cause of death. An inquest docket is being investigated by the Durban Central SAPS.

“The police had to use rubber bullets to disperse the unruly crowd,” he said.

EThekwini Municipality spokesperson Msawakhe Mayisela said the city was not aware of the circumstances regarding the worker’s death, and therefore could not provide comment at this stage.

“We are, however, saddened by the loss of life. The city sends its sincere condolences to the family,” said Mayisela.

THE MERCURY