4 South African policemen arrested over beating of Nigerian into coma


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Four policemen in South Africa have been arrested over the January 9 beating of a Nigerian into a coma in Boksburg, a city on the East Rand of Gauteng province.

The policemen were picked up at the Boksburg North Police Station by the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) on Wednesday.

Their arrest followed a complaint filed by the Nigerian Embassy in South Africa about the beating.

An official of the Nigerian consulate, Elizabeth Wale-Ayodele, confirmed the incident.

“Two weeks ago, 9th January, 2023, a Nigerian was assaulted in Boksburg by four policemen. We received this at the consulate and immediately, the CG (consul general), Mr Andrew Idi, was here two weeks ago to pay the victim a visit.

“He (the victim) was assaulted, thoroughly beaten, even when he complained of having kidney issues. He fell into a coma and was in a coma for nine days,” she said.

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Wale-Ayodele said that the South African police authorities have been working with the consulate since the incident occurred.

“So when he came out of the coma, the CG was here to visit him and we opened the case with IPID. The consulate has followed up the case up till this moment. We are happy to see this happen. We are happy to see that Nigerians are not assaulted and perpetrators go scot-free,” she said.

It was learnt that Nigerian consulate officials witnessed the arrest of the police officers, who are now facing charges of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm and defeating the ends of justice.

Two other policemen were arrested for alleged copper theft and defeating the ends of justice.

They are expected to be arraigned today.

The policemen, who assaulted the Nigerian, were said to have demanded the identification papers of the victim and his friends.

The spokesperson for IPID, Lizzy Suping, said the victim was arrested and taken to the police station when he could not produce the required documents.

She said he was subsequently assaulted and tortured by the officers at the police station and was taken to the hospital, where he was in a coma for nine days.

The suspects, she added, would be arraigned at the Boksburg Magistrates’ Court on Thursday.

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