Fiance dies in police cells
Police believe he had an argument with two other detainees. All were arrested for being drunk
SEVENTEEN days ago Eben Meyer pulled out all the stops when he proposed to the love of his life, Sylvia Hamman — an enormous diamond ring, rose petals and a bottle of bubbly.
But yesterday Hamman was still trying to come to terms with the stark reality that her fairy-tale with Meyer ended on Saturday morning after he was beaten to death in a police cell.
Meyer’s body was found in the holding cells of the Durbanville police station, shortly after his arrest for being “drunk in a public place”.
Police spokesman Captain Frederick van Wyk said the 48-year-old father of three was detained in a cell with eight others.
“Information would suggest that he had an argument with two other detainees, which led to a fight. The incident occurred at around 01:30am, a half an hour after his detention,” said Van Wyk.
“The two suspects who were also being detained for being drunk, are now facing a murder charge. The circumstances surrounding the matter are being investigated.” he said.
Moses Dlamini, spokesman for the Independent Police Investigative Directorate confirmed that they are investigating Meyer’s death.
“We investigate all deaths in police custody or death as a result of police action,” said Dlamini.
The men, Daniel Dyosi and Sipho Mhlanga, appeared in the Bellville Magistrates Court yesterday.
Eric Ntabazalila, spokesman for the National Prosecuting Authority in the Western Cape said both were arrested and charged with drinking in public on Saturday.
“They met in the cells when they got into a fight.
“No weapons were used but it is suspected that he died after the men hit him with their fists and banged him against the walls,” said Ntabazalila.
The case was postponed to May 10 when Dyosi and Mhhlanga are expected to apply for bail.
Hamman could not bring herself to attend the court proceedings.
“I’m not doing too well,” she said fighting back tears.
“No one understands what happened. The last time I saw him was Friday morning. He was such a gentle man and did so much for others.”
Hamman said his car was found at a pub in Durbanville.
His children, aged 25, 22 and 18 are devastated.
Hamman said they planned to tie the knot in September.