Inmates press rape accused balls in jail

Image: 123rf/ Allan Swart

A Limpopo man who was accused of raping his three-year-old daughter was allegedly killed by fellow awaiting-trial detainees after they brutally assaulted him and squeezed his balls.

Sello Makwela of Motjeteng village outside Tzaneen collapsed on Sunday last week in the presence of police who were doing routine cell visits.

Makwela, 40, was certified dead by emergency personnel who were called to the holding cells to provide medical assistance.

Limpopo police spokesman Motlafela Mojapelo confirmed Makwela's death and said they had opened an inquest docket and an investigation was under way to determine the cause of his death.

"The police in Maake have opened an inquest docket after an inmate, Sello
Makwela aged 40, collapsed after complaining about stomach ache and died.

"The deceased, who is from Motjeteng village, was an awaiting-trial prisoner on a rape case. The deceased allegedly raped his child," Mojapelo said.

"It is alleged that the deceased complained of stomach pains while members were doing routine cell visits [on Sunday].

He then collapsed in the presence of the police. An ambulance was called and he was certified dead.

"The cause of death is not yet known. Independent Police Investigation Directorate was summoned and an investigation continues."

Sunday World understands Makwela was taken to Dr C N Phatudi Hospital for ulcer treatment earlier and, upon his return, he was taken to different holding cells. It is understood that some of the inmates confronted him about the rape allegation and assaulted him, pulling him by his balls.

Makwela's elder brother Peter said the family was shocked and devastated by his untimely death.

"We heard that he was fatally assaulted when we arrived there to visit him. What angered us was that the police refused us permission to see his body which was lying in the cells.

"The question is what were they hiding from us. We need a lawyer who can take this matter forward on our behalf," he said.

Makwela, who was buried at a local cemetery yesterday, was arrested after his wife opened a case of rape against him about three weeks ago.

The wife claimed that she left the child with her father to attend a funeral and when she returned the following day she found the child bleeding from her private parts.

She rushed the child to the local clinic where the nurses told her to open a case of rape as the child was violated.

General practitioner Dr Elias Maowasha said that it was highly possible for a man to die from this kind of assault.

"It depends on the severity of the assault. If the impact or the pressure is too much, a man can die from such an assault," Maowasha said.

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