Statement on the death of Mthwalume suspect

The IFP Women’s Brigade (IFPWB) demands answers following the death of one of the prime suspects held in police custody today.

This follows the senseless, heinous and gruesome killing of six women, whose bodies were found dumped in a sugarcane plantation, in uMnafu, uMthwalume on the south coast of KwaZulu-Natal.

It is alleged that the suspect committed suicide while in holding at the Scottburgh Police Station. The prime suspect was expected to appear before the uMzumbe Magistrate’s Court today. The other suspect in this case was later released today due to insufficient evidence.

It appears that there are more questions than the simple answers provided by the SAPS.

We demand to know exactly how the suspect died in police custody; where were the police officers when the suspect committed suicide; and what are the per-minute details while the suspect was under watch by the police.

Further to the questions that must be answered by the Police, we urge authorities to ensure that the post-mortem report on his death will be made available in transparent manner and that the report will not be tampered with.

Law enforcement agencies must establish the motive of his death and scientific forensic evidence must be tabled publicly – if it does not infringe on any of the suspect’s rights.

While many families may find some relief in the news of the passing on of a key suspect, any suspect held in police custody – and not found guilty before a court of law – deserves to have their rights upheld and respected.

We call for calm in the community and for members of the public not to spread false information, and we call for greater urgency from the Police and all other relevant law enforcement agencies in ensuring that this matter is dealt with as swiftly as possible.

Thokozile Gumede, MPL
IFP KZN Women’s Brigade Chairperson
083 583 85 85