The family of Mantleotlhe Molefhi, who died in the hands of the Borakanelo Police officers who then sent his body to the Sbrana Psychiatric Hospital, has solicited the services of a private pathologist to witness the examination into the cause of his death, which was scheduled for yesterday (Tuesday 5th April 2010).
“As at now, I am not at liberty to discuss the details, but I can confirm that indeed we have approached one pathologist to partake in the process of investigating the real cause of death,” said Matshediso Podile, a sister to the deceased.
Podile further pointed out that basing on the outcome of the postmortem, the family will then decide on the next course of action, adding that the stubbornness of facts rather than the abundance of money would be at their disposal to ultimately resolve the issue.
This comes after an instance in which Borakanelo Police officers paid an unannounced visit to the Molefhis residence in Ledumang, and found the deceased with his girl friend, Zwinyetu Thuthuthu, around 9 on Sunday 28th March 2010, only for the family to hear of his mysterious death the following day.
To compound matters, information reaching The Telegraph indicate that a copy of the detainees’ property list has not been signed to show that Molefhi was discharged from detention, only for the record to be found on his body at the mortuary whereupon it was delivered to the Department of Criminal Investigations (CID).
As if to show the complexity of the whole issue, Superintendent Modise Gabatshwane, Station Commander of Borakanelo Police, told the Telegraph that the purpose of arresting Molefhi was never to detain him.
In yet another strange twist in the matter, although it has been established the deceased was some time last year attended for depression, he was officially relieved from taking any medication about October 2009, “some unidentified uncovered drugs were found in the clothes of the deceased to the surprise of staff at the Sbrana Psychiatric Hospital as if to stifle the actual cause of death,” said Kebuileng Molefhi, mother to the deceased.
“However, in spite of the discrepancies, we are optimistic that both on account of what we feel is sufficient evidence and the cooperation we are getting currently from the Deputy Commissioner’s Office, the law will final take its full course,” said Podile.
It is the umpteenth time reports have been made about people dying during Police custody, and it remains to be seen whether this will be just one of those statistics.