South Africa, Cape Town – The family of a Bellville man who died, allegedly while in police custody, is pleading for assistance with legal advice or support in their quest for justice. Gareth Louw died on December 4 after he was arrested at a friend’s house.
Aggrieved community members and the family are expected to march peacefully to the Bellville police station tomorrow to demand answers and hand over a memorandum.
Louw’s sister, Priscilla, said they were not happy with the outcome of the post-mortem and wanted an independent, second opinion on the cause of her brother’s death.
She alleged her brother was restrained with red rope and handcuffed while he was assaulted by police officers in the presence of his friends.
“His friends, who are witnesses to the assault, told us my brother was badly assaulted before he was taken away like garbage by the police,” said Priscilla.
“The police had been looking for Gareth for being in contempt of court on another case. We knew they were looking for him and we weren’t hiding him from police but when they came to look for him in connection with the case before the court, he wasn’t home.”
Priscilla said they wanted to ensure officers were held responsible.
“On December 4 they found Gareth at his friend’s home where they arrested him.
’’What was told to us by Gareth’s friends is that the police officers came in and unprovoked, starting beating up my brother.”
Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) spokesperson Sontaga Seisa said they were investigating a case of death in police custody and no arrests had been made.
“It is alleged that the deceased was arrested and detained for a theft case which was opened in June 2020,” Seisa said.
“While the deceased was in the police cell it is alleged that he experienced short breath problems.
The paramedics were called and declared him dead. Ipid is investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of the deceased while in police custody.”
Anyone wishing to assist the family can call Priscilla at 071 882 3818.