Ennerdale cops who murdered man suspected of stealing TV to be sentenced
Johannesburg - Two police officers who were found guilty for the murder of Innocent Sebediela - a suspect who had been accused of stealing his brother-in-law’s TV set and was later killed in police custody, will be sentenced on Wednesday at the Palm Ridge Magistrate’s Court.
Sebediala was one of the people arrested for a break-in at his brother-in-law’s house where a TV was stolen.
He was then taken to the police station where he later died after being assaulted and strangled.
The police officers - Constable Derrick Johnson and Constable Abraham Dintwe, both of the Ennerdale Police Station, were arrested by the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) in June 2018 when Sebediela was killed in police custody.
Ipid spokesperson Ndileka Cola said their investigations found that the deceased had been assaulted by the police officers together with other inmates.
He was severely beaten for allegedly questioning the police officers.
“Furthermore, the Directorate’s detective work revealed that the assaulted inmates were not even registered in the custody register.
“IPID is anticipating that tomorrow’s sentencing will send a strong message to police officers who assault civilians and it will also serve as a deterrent for police brutality,” said Cola.
The Sowetan reported at the time that one of the people arrested with Sebediela said he had witnessed the attack.
“They used cold water and poured it on him after stripping him down. They strangled him with a chain from a big key ring used in jail. They poured tear gas into plastic and covered his face with it,” the man said.
He also said Sebedila had soiled himself several times during the assault and complained of pain in his ribs afterwards.
"He was a bit responsive after the beating but he lost consciousness and stopped responding. We knew he was dead.
“The police then moved us to another cell while they removed his body,“ the man said.