Five Limpopo police officers beat a
Nigerian man to death, the Polokwane
Magistrate's Court heard on Thursday.
"I put it to you that you beat him, he
fainted and you resuscitated him. He
woke up and… you beat him again,"
prosecutor Jacky Mabasa told the
officers during cross-examination. "You
also sprinkled water on him."
The five, Boitumelo Ramahlala, Mashiba
Mathata, Collins Sekoati, Thabo Mabotja
and Clement Tsotsane, face murder and
assault charges. They were applying for
They are accused of beating Onyechiabi
Iwuaka to death on May 21 while he
was visiting a friend. His friend escaped
the assault. Iwuaka died on the way to
the Polokwane police station.
The court was told the officers stopped
on the way to the police station to buy
water, as Iwuaka was bleeding from his
Mabasa said an ambulance was called
for Iwuaka after he died.
"The reason you cannot tell me
specifically what you did that day is
because you assaulted him. That's why
you cannot tell what you did," Mabasa
The court was told Iwuaka was merely in
his friend's home, and was the wrong
person to be arrested.
The five evaded questions, and said they
never accused or hurt anyone. This
prompted magistrate Janine Ungerer to
question if they shared the same holding
cell. She suspected they had coached
each other on how to respond to
The bail application was postponed to