Two police officers are set to appear in the Moorreesburg Magistrate’s Court on Monday in connection with the death of Manfred Lewies while in police custody.
This comes after the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) made the arrests on Thursday, according to spokesperson Ndileka Cola.
It is alleged that Lewies died as a result of police brutality when he was held in custody about three weeks ago.
It is unclear on what charges Lewies was arrested.
Family spokesperson Venice Burgins said the family felt a sense of hope after hearing about the arrests.
“The mother was so relieved to hear about the arrests made and she feels somewhat vindicated in the progress and swift response by Ipid in this case. The family just wants justice to be served.
“They have for a long time felt that the justice system is failing them but now they can see there is hope and that rural lives do indeed matter. The family intend to attend court proceedings today,” she said.
Burgins added that the family was yet to receive confirmation of the cause of death with Lewies’ death certificate noting this was under investigation.
“We cannot allow these types of atrocities to happen. We also cannot be the voice of the people but yet we close up these types of news events, especially in small rural towns where they are seen as the forgotten people,” Burgins said.
Moorreesburg Action Group chairperson Bronwin Adonis said protests flared up in the area on Friday after news of the arrests spread.
“Non-violent protests took place with tyres being burnt after residents thought the police officers were thought to have already appeared in Malmesbury Court. A contingent of residents will also be picketing at court (today),” said Adonis.
It is unclear what charges the officers face.
Forensic Pathology Services spokesperson Deanna Bessick last week said some results to determine Lewies’ cause of death were pending.
“The autopsy examination had been concluded but ancillary (histology) had been retained and is being processed.
“The histology will be examined to assist in the cause of death determination.
“FPS releases the remains for burial or cremation when the attending forensic practitioner is satisfied and provides approval for the body to be released,” Bessick said.