The Sunday News
Nontobeko Mlotshwa, Sunday News Reporter
TWO Beitbridge police officers have been arrested for allegedly assulting an unlawful entry and theft suspect to death, burnt his remains which they then stashed in a sack and hid them in a drainage system to conceal the crime.
The two police officers – Constables Xander Siasayi (33) and Daniel Peyani (32) of Tuli and Zezani police camps were arrested on Friday for the offence they allegedly committed while investigating an unlawful entry and theft case which had occured at Toporo Special Bottle Store in Zezani.
Police spokesperson for Matabeleland South Province Inspector Loveness Mangena confirmed the incident and said investigations were underway.
Insp Mangena further said they were still searching for the missing parts of the victim and trying to find out how and why the body was burnt.
Circumstances according to the police statement are that on 27 December, 2020, at about 8am, the now deceased’s girlfriend, Beatrice Ndou (24), who is employed at Toporo Special Bottle Store, made a report at Swereki Police Base alleging that her boyfriend broke into her workplace and stole cash amounting to 10 140 rand and $200.
Upon receiving the report, Constables Siasayi and Peyani, who were manning the police base, did not record it in the report book.
On the same day at about 7pm, the now deceased was picked up from Toporo Special Bottle Store where he was residing with his girlfriend, Beatrice.
Siasayi and Peyani then escorted him and a co-accused, Godknows Mbedzi, back to Swereki Police Base where they spent the night under police custody. “On the 28th of December 2020 at around 6am while at the police base, the accused persons assaulted the now deceased with a stick on the thighs and buttocks several times interrogating him about the alleged stolen money,” police sources said.
“This they did in the presence of Godknows Mbedzi. On the same date at around 8am, Godknows Mbedzi was released whilst the accused persons took the now deceased to Toporo Business Centre in a bid to recover the stolen money.
On 29 December at about 12noon, Siasayi and Peyani, in the company of Gwanda District Administrator, who is also the owner of Toporo Special Bottle Store, Kilibone Ndou, escorted the now deceased from Swereki police base proceeding to Toporo Business Centre once again.
At about 2pm on the same day, the two police officers were seen at Swereki shops without the now deceased who never reached home.
On 4 January, 2021, the deceased’s mother, Sibongile Ndou, told one Inspector Marisa, who is the Officer in Charge at Zezani, that her son did not return home since he was arrested by the Swereki Base police officers. On 5 January, 2021, Insp Marisa proceeded to Swereki base and upon interviewing the investigating officers, he was told that the now deceased escaped from their custody by running away and their efforts to chase him were in vain.
Insp Marisa discovered that the now deceased was arrested but no warned and cautioned statement had been recorded from him.
He also discovered that the unlawful entry and theft report was not recorded in the report book at the base. A search was commissioned on 7 January and the decomposing remains of the deceased were found stashed in a white sack inside a concrete drainage system.
A skull, which was detached from the body, two legs and two arms were also found.
The clothes and body parts seemed to have been burnt before being stashed in the sack.