Ntsikayesizwe Dlephu, 37, and Masixole Bushula, 40, were detectives stationed at Alice Police Station when they tortured Bathandwa Kula, 20, to death in August 2013.
National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) regional spokesperson Anelisa Ngcakani said Dlepu and Bushula were investigating a complaint of housebreaking when the incident occured.
“They arrested Simphiwe Sityi, questioned and detained him. Sityi implicated Kula after they tortured him by suffocating him with plastic bags,” said Ngcakani.
“Dlephu and Bushula then went to fetch Kula at his home in Alice and took him to the police station where they tortured him in the same manner. Kula passed out and was rushed to hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.”
On the same day, Michael Smith, an investigator for the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID), attended to the body and the crime scene. He questioned Sityi, who showed him the office where he and Kula were tortured.
“Sityi pointed Smith to important areas of the crime scene, ” said Ngcakani.
“Dlephu and Bushula were arrested immediately. During the trial, they denied the allegations and claimed that Kula appeared to have had epileptic fits. This version was discredited by evidence and both accused were convicted of murder and assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm.”
Prosecutor Advocate Deolin Willemse said the administration of justice would be brought into disrepute should the accused not be appropriately punished. He said the case would serve as a deterrent against the use of excessive force by police.