Police in court for teen's death in custody
BEFORE police arrested a Boksburg teenager, who later died in custody, they assaulted him using open hands, the Johannesburg High Court heard yesterday.
The deceased boy's neighbour, Douglas Mangwana, testified in the murder trial of two of the three police officers charged with the 2009 murder of 15-year-old Nhlakanipho Dlamini.
It is alleged that Inspector Mxolosi Mdutyana, Constable Oupa Dithako and reservist Themba Mbewu beat Nhlakanipho of the Delmore informal settlement to death on December 27.
This was after Nhlakanipho's father, Petros Dlamini, had called the police after the teenager allegedly broke into Mangwana's house.
Mdutyana was shot dead while on duty, leaving his two colleagues to face charges of murder and assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm.
Dlamini told the court that he only called the police to reprimand his son and not to kill him.
But Mbewu's lawyer, Anton Lerm, denied his client assaulted Nhlakanipho and said Mangwana did it.
"I put it to you that you and community members were the ones who assaulted the deceased because you were angry that he had broken into your house," he said.
But Mangwana insisted the police were the ones who had beaten his son to death.
The trial continues.