Sat Oct 22 11:10:51 CAT 2016

Family demand police pay for brother's burial

By unknown | Nov 21, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Canaan Mdletshe

Canaan Mdletshe

The situation is still tense at Pomeroy, Umsinga, in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands, after police refused to take responsibility for burying S'bangani Zuma, who died after police allegedly assaulted him.

Zuma died on Saturday after he was allegedly beaten and kicked to death by police who were searching for illegal weapons in the area.

He died on the eve of his sister's funeral.

Zuma's family have decided not to pay for his burial and want the police to bear the costs.

His brother, Zwangobani Zuma, made it clear they would not bury a second member of the family, saying "my brother was killed by the police".

He said the family and community had decided the police should bury his brother.

But nine days later, the corpse is still in the mortuary, said Zwangobani Zuma.

"We still stand by what we said, that the police must end what they started.

"They beat him to death and they must bury him. We will not bury him," said Zwangobani Zuma.

Local councillor Simon Mkhize said, as leaders, they stood by the family because they had been subjected to police brutality for far too long. "We need to take a stand. We cannot allow such brutality to continue.

"It has to stop somewhere and I think the buck stops here and now," said Mkhize.

He said that in September alone three people had died at the hands of the police.

"How do you tell your people to calm down in situations like this? How do you give them hope for a better future, knowing exactly that it will never happen?

"We have had enough of the kind of treatment we get from the local police and we can't take it any more," Mkhize said.

He said a special meeting had been organised today, where "we will discuss our next step, if police continue to refuse to bury Zuma.

"It will be in this meeting that the future of Umsinga will be discussed, but I fear for the worst. People are so angry and you can feel the tension. We are sitting on a time bomb and it can explode at any time," Mkhize warned.

He hinted that the people wanted all the police stations in the area to be shut down because "we are better off without them".

A department of safety and security official who wished to remain anonymous said they had resolved to bury Zuma on Saturday.


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