THE family of a police officer who died in custody while facing drug charges is blaming cops for his death.
Captain Caiphus Shange of Florida, on the West Rand, died on Friday after complaining of stomachache.
Family spokesperson Bheki Mabaso said he last saw Shange, 43, a week ago. He said Shange was very weak at the time. "His death is due to negligence. How could they do that to someone who worked for the state?" asked Mabaso.
Shange and his three colleagues and co-accused, head of the Krugersdorp organised crime unit Senior Superintendent Dumisane Jwara and captains Landro Mokgosani and Victor Jwili, were facing charges of theft, fraud, racketeering and drug dealing.
The four were arrested in March for allegedly stealing drugs seized at OR Tambo International Airport and selling them to drug dealers.
Mabaso said: "He couldn't do anything for himself. On July 19, I found him in a shocking state. He told me he had informed the police that he was sick but they ignored his pleas to see a doctor."
He said it took police about 12 hours to take him to hospital on that day. He was later discharged despite that he had not fully recovered."
National police spokesperson Senior Superintendent Tummi Golding said: "After two days of admission at South Rand Medical Centre, Shange saw a private doctor.
"He told hospital officials that he was feeling better. We could not keep him in hospital when he said he was fine."