Prisoner on fraud rap found dead

Frank Maponya

Frank Maponya

It is not yet clear whether a 26-year-old man committed suicide or was killed shortly after he was sentenced to 10 years for fraud.

The incident happened in the awaiting-trial cells at the Polokwane magistrate's offices.

The deceased, whose name will be released after his next of kin have been notified, was from NkowaNkowa township near Tzaneen.

He was an employee of Absa bank in Polokwane.

According to investigations he was allegedly involved in fraudulent activities between August 19 2005 and November 18 2005.

No figures were given as to the amount involved.

He was out on bail.

After he was sentenced he was taken to the awaiting-trial cells.

He was later found hanging from the rafters of the cell in which he was kept alone. He allegedly hanged himself with his belt.

Polokwane police spokesman Inspector Lesiba Ramoshaba said yesterday an inquest docket had been opened.

"It is not yet known whether the deceased was killed or he committed suicide,Ramoshaba said.

"We are still investigating,"

He said they believed the belt belonged to the deceased.

"We have involved the Independent Complaints Directorate (IDC) to allow the watchdog to carry out its own investigations," said Ramoshaba.

ICD spokesman Dikeledi Phiri confirmed yesterday that the directorate was investigating the matter.