Lingelethu officers accused of incompetence

Residents protest outside the Lingelethu Police station.

Residents of SST Section and the devastated Mpinda family are demanding answers to their questions about the death of mentally ill Sipho Mpinda.

The 22-year-old was arrested last Thursday at Khayelitsha Mall when police officers saw him attempting to open the doors of a private vehicle.

But when they realised that Mr Mpinda was mentally ill, the officers from Lingelethu police station released him.

But he did not return home and was found dead last Monday. It is believed he may have been killed in a hit-and-run near Tafelsig.

Residents have been protesting outside the police station since the day he was arrested and on Tuesday handed a memorandum of grievances to the police.

Neighbour, Loyiso Fexe, who was travelling with Mr Mpinda at the time, said he had left him standing next to his car while he went to buy a few things inside the mall. When he returned a few minutes later, Mr Mpinda was not there. Two security guards and car marshal informed him that Mr Mpinda had been apprehended and beaten up by police.

He then rushed to the police station to enquire about his arrest and clarify the accusations .

Mr Fexe said police officers had been hostile towards him as he tried to explain the situation and get answers regarding Mr Mpinda’s whereabouts.

“Police officers have done a terrible job.I want them to pay for what they did. We had been looking everywhere – in hospitals and police stations. I spent the whole night on Thursday looking for him,” he said.

Sipho’s older brother, Wesile Mpinda, said he was distraught and that his mother was struggling to come to terms with her son’s death.
“I don’t know how we are going to heal from this,” he said.

Lingelethu Police station’s spokesperson, Sergeant Noxolo Nyalambisa confirmed that Mr Mpinda had died on Monday after being hit by a truck.

She said a culpable homicide case had been opened and police were still investigating the matter.