- Category: International
- Published on Sunday, 23 January 2011 21:49
- Written by Admin
- Hits: 1403
Johannesburg-A Nigerian, Uzoama Joseph, died, Sunday, when South African police officers raided a home belonging to Azukah, wife of detained Nigerian militant, Henry Okah, claiming to be searching for drugs allegedly belonging to some tenants.
The witnesses said when Uzoma hesitated, a police officer took out plastic bags from the trunk of a police car and placed them over his head, perhaps to stop him from screaming. The handcuffed Uzoma died soon afterwards.
Nigerians in the Turffontein neighbourhood told the online news publication that it was routine for SA police officers to torture and kill Nigerians in South Africa extra-judicially, and that Uzoama’s treatment amounted to torture.
A state pathologist, Dr. Moeng, who examined Uzoama’s body, told independent observers he found out that there were no injuries except the cuts on the wrists from the handcuffs, which showed that he must have struggled to breathe before he died.
That position was corroborated by Mantha Rapesu, an official with South Africa’s Independent Complaints Directorate. He said on phone that he saw only wrist injuries on Uzoama’s body. He said he could not confirm that torture might have been used until post-mortem examination had been done.
Police officers at Booysens Police Station in Johannesburg, who were reportedly involved in the “drug-burst”, said they couldn’t speak about the issue until today when their commanders would have been fully briefed.
Friends and family members of the deceased said Nigerian consulate officials refused to come to their aid, despite repeated calls to the embassy.