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Police investigate man's death

By unknown | May 29, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Riot Hlatshwayo

Riot Hlatshwayo

Mpumalanga police are investigating the circumstances that led to the death of a 50-year-old man believed to have frozen to death in KaNyamazane outside Nelspruit last week.

Ishmael Sibiya was found dead on Friday morning after having sat next to a fire to warm himself when temperatures plummeted with the arrival of a cold front.

Before his death, Sibiya had allegedly been locked out of a shebeen after he refused to go home when the outlet closed at 8pm.

A man who had been drinking with him later told the KaNyamazane police that the "shebeen queen" had told them there was no more beer and had chased them away. He said Sibiya had complained of being very hungry.

Constable Chicco Nkosi of the KaNyamazane police said yesterday: "The friend tried to get the victim some chips to eat at a neighbouring shop, but they were not enough.

"He asked that be left next to the fire near the shebeen.

"We were told about his death the following morning."

Nkosi said eyewitnesses told police Sibiya had been unable to walk home because he was too drunk.

The shebeen owner claimed she had also tried to accompany the victim home and even tried to physically carry him, but had been unable to do so because he was too heavy for her to carry.

"She left the shivering victim next to the fire and went to sleep," Nkosi said.

The shebeen owner found the victim lying dead next to the fire the next day. Nkosi said a postmortem would be conducted to establish the exact cause of death, but he could not rule out the possibility the man had died of exposure.

He said an inquest would follow the postmortem to determine if anyone was to blame.


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