Durban: The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) has confirmed it is investigating the death of Durban University of Technology student Phumlani Sithole as a result of police action.
The 23-year-old was killed following a raid at a community heritage celebration venue last Friday night.
According to Ipid spokesperson Ndileka Cola, it is alleged that the law enforcement officials were conducting a raid when they went into the community heritage celebration venue to disperse the crowd.
“It is further alleged that the deceased was in the same vicinity when the police alleged fired shots, leading to the death of Phumlani.”
Cola said on Monday, Ipid visited the family of the deceased as part of the investigation process
“The information acquired gave a clear indication that this matter falls within the mandate of the Directorate as stipulated in the Ipid Act, Section 28(1)(b).
“Ipid shall investigate and deaths as a result of police action,” said Cola.
She added that as Ipid continues with its investigation, the normal procedure will follow which includes acquiring statements from witnesses as well as police officers.
Cola said the post-mortem has also been conducted and results are outstanding.
“The exhibits have been taken for ballistics; the crime scene will also have to be reconstructed and a comprehensive report will be produced for relevant state institutions,” said Cola.
Sithole’s family are demanding justice for his death.
According to a relative who spoke to The Mercury, Sithole left home that night to go and see a family member.
He was completing his final year in accounting at DUT and was also a former member of the student representative council EFF Student Command.
Sithole’s sister Jabu said her brother was approaching the tavern when a group of people came running to the gate.
“They told him to run away as they were being chased by the police. But because he knew he was not part of that group, he didn’t run. There were about three shots that were fired and unfortunately one of them hit my brother,” she said. | IOL