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MAN DIES WHILE IN POLICE CUSTODY

On Thursday 7 June 2018, a 39 year old man was arrested in Plettenberg Bay after fleeing from police in a vehicle stolen in Mbewu Street, Thembalethu between 9h30 and 10am. Later on the same day, the suspect died while in custody at Plettenberg Police Station.

According to reports, the owner of the stolen vehicle, stopped at his home and left the vehicle idling while he popped into his home, only to find his vehicle missing as he returned. The case was reported to the police. A short while later the vehicle was seen at Fourways in Thembalethu.

When the police went to investigate, the suspect fled in the vehicle, leading to a high speed chase involving a number of police and traffic vehicles. Members of the Public Order Police joined in the chase and fired several shots in an attempt to deflate the tyres of the stolen vehicle. This caused the suspect to cause a collision with another vehicle before leaving the road.

A few law enforcement vehicles were damaged during the chase that ended in Plettenberg Bay where the suspect lost control of the vehicle and came to a halt in a storm water drain next to the N2.

The suspect was taken into custody and charged with theft of a vehicle. According to authorities the suspect had a few minor scratches to his face at the time of his arrest. George Traffic Chief, Donovan Saptoe also took part in the high speed chase, and it has been reported that he suffered minor injuries when the suspect tried to run him off the road near Sedgefield.

Police declined to comment on the death of the suspect and the matter has been handed over to Independent Police Investigative Directorate for further investigation. Early indications are that the suspect was strangled by a suspect in another matter in custody in the same holding cell.


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