Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)
Picture: Henk Kruger/African News Agency (ANA)

Five Western Cape police officers arrested for murder of Jason Heyns

By Sihle Mlambo Time of article published Nov 25, 2020

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Johannesburg - The Investigating Police Investigative Directorate has arrested five police officers in Vredenburg, Western Cape, in connection with the murder and assault of Jason Heyns, who died in hospital last month.

The IPID said the arrest of the five police officers comes after the directorate’s rural strategic interventions investigative work on the case.

The IPID said the police officers allegedly assaulted Heyns, who was being arrested by the officers. After his assault, Heyns needed medical attention and was taken to hospital in Vredenburg, who immediately transferred him to the Groote Schuur Hospital in Cape Town due to the severity of his injuries.

He died in hospital, seven days later.

IPID spokesperson Ndileka Cola said the police failed to report the matter to the IPID, but the family alerted the directorate and an investigation ensued.

“SAPS failed to report this incident as required by the IPID Act, the directorate later learnt through the deceased’s family which reported the death as a result of police action case on the 03 November 2020.

“IPID conducted an indepth investigation into this incident which led to the identification and arrest of the five members today,” said Cola.

The police officers were arrested on Wednesday and are expected to appear in the Vredenburg Magistrate Court on Thursday, where they will face a murder charge.

Meanwhile, earlier on Wednesday, the Palm Ridge Magistrate’s Court in Gauteng sentenced 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 later killed in police custody – to 28 years behind bars.

Constable Derrick Johnson and Constable Abraham Dintwe, both formerly were convicted of murder and torture at the same court earlier this month.

Johnson and Dintwe, with inmates, had assaulted and tortured Sebediela in police cells, leading to his death.

Police had arrested Sebediela, who was 43, after he was suspected of stealing his brother-in-law’s TV set in 2018.

“IPID welcomes sentencing of the pair and hopes that today’s outcome will send a strong message to all police officers that they are not above the law, they have a responsibility to respect the laws of the land as they discharge their constitutional duties,” said Cola.


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