The family of a 37 year old man who died in police custody have hired a private forensic investigator to determine what caused their son’s death. Nadeem Khan was arrested last week on suspicion of trying to sell a stolen cell phone in the Rondebosch shopping hub.
The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) confirmed that the suspect was put at the back of the police vehicle, while he was handcuffed and taken to the police station across the road from the Pick and Pay store.
According to the Khan family, Nadeem was trying to sell his own phone. His father Haroon Khan said he is disappointed in the way in which the matter is being investigated and called on the forensic investigator to probe the circumstances around his son’s death.
“We have not got any results so far. Forensics has not even determined the cause of death and that is why we got an investigator to do it. Although IPID is investigating the matter they have not called me to even find out a timeline of events,” Haroon explained.
Questions remain as to why scratches were found on Nadeem’s body and if perhaps there had been some heavy-handedness by police.
Ipid spokesperson Moses Dlamini told VOC News that while he could not conclude on what caused Nadeem’s death, when police arrived at the station, Nadeem was struggling to breath.
“When police found that he was struggling to breathe, paramedics were called and they declared him dead.”
Haroon said Nadeem’s death certificate does not state his cause of death.
“As far as forensics is concerned IPID did not get any information back from forensics. In fact on Nadeem’s death certificate, it just says ‘cause of death unknown’ but I firmly believe that it could be police brutality because there were marks on the body and the forehead as well,” he alleged.
VOC (Najma Bibi Noor Mahomed)