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BOY (17) BEATEN, DIES IN MISTAKEN IDENTITY

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MAHWALALA – The alleged brutality of community police has once again reared its ugly head.

Unfortunately this time around, it was blended with mistaken identity of the suspect. An all-night interrogation of Celumusa Dlamini and five others resulted in the death of the former, who was mistaken to have been part of a gang that robbed an old man of the area. Dlamini (17), who it later transpired was not part of the gang which is suspected to have committed the robbery, died due to injuries that were allegedly inflicted on him by the community police during the interrogation. Knobkerries and batons were allegedly some of the objects that were used by the community police members to ‘retrieve the truth’ from the minor and the five others.

Narrating the events leading to Dlamini’s death, Winile Zwane, who is the mother of the deceased, said news of an elderly man who was robbed of his E6 000 spread like wildfire.
“I was on night duty at 12:06am when I got a call from a man who told me he was a community police member. He asked me if I knew if my son was mischievous and I said no,” she recalled.

Troublesome

Zwane further recounted that she heard the man ordering her son to inform her that he was troublesome, which the son allegedly did. With shock, the mother claimed that she asked what her son did. She added that her son notified her that he had robbed a man of his E6 000 with his gang of friends last Friday at the area’s junction. She alleged that her son was saying all this under duress from the man as she overheard him on the phone. The deceased’s mother stated that this came as a shock to her and she asked her son when and where he had done this since she was with him (son) on Friday. Zwane alleged that the man who claimed to be a community police member asked her if she was with her son when staging the robbery and she responded to the negative.  Abruptly, Zwane claimed that the man cut the call.

Much to her amazement, the mother recounted that she called the number back and requested the man to explain to her what was happening.

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