Mothutlung: Victim's family wants answers from cops

Theodore Seema’s family and friends say condolences are not enough, blaming the police for his death.

Theodore Seema was allegedly pushed out of a police Nyala after he was arrested for public disturbance during service delivery protests in Mothutlung, North West. Picture: Lesego Ngobeni/EWN.

MOTHUTLUNG - The family of a Mothutlung man who died after falling from a moving police Nyala say they want answers from the police as to how he died.

Theodore Seema was declared dead early on Wednesday morning, having suffered severe brain trauma and internal bleeding after his fall on Tuesday.

Seema is one of three people to have died in the North West township this week, which has seen emotionally-charged service delivery protests since Sunday.

Police claim Seema fell out of the van while trying to evade arrest, but some residents claim Seema was thrown from the vehicle.

Seema's mother Audrey was at his bedside when he died.

"He was bleeding with his nose, his ears and every private part that I know," she says.

Audrey says all she wants is answers from those responsible for his death.

Seema's sister Tshegofatso says she is also struggling to cope.

"It's painful, you know, it hurts. We were like best friends and we were getting so close. I feel sad, really."

But she says she's not looking for revenge.

"I've forgiven the police. I give them to God. Whoever did this, God will judge him, will punish him."

Seema's friend Ngwako Baloyi, who was arrested with Seema on Tuesday, has disputed the police's claim that his friend jumped off the Nyala.

He believes Seema was seated far from the door and would not have been able to escape even if he had tried.

"The first time that we got into that van, they were talking about teaching us a lesson because they were saying we are still young. Nobody ever provoked those guys. What they did, they did intentionally. That's what I know."

Baloyi also says their arrests for public disturbance were unwarranted in the first place.

He admits he had managed to jump off the nyala himself after police lost sight of him, but claims he was then shot at six times with rubber bullets and was hit once.

Meanwhile, the Police Ministry has issues a statement sending condolences to the family.

Minister Nathi Mthethwa, who visited the area on Tuesday, says he's asked the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) to investigate the matter urgently.

Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa speaks to residents of Mothutlung following violent protests. Picture: Lesego Ngobeni/EWN.

Ipid is already investigating the deaths of two people on Monday.

Michael Tshele and Nkali Rahobe were both shot dead during a demonstration, allegedly by police.

The community claims the police were unprovoked and say they want them to face charges.

They also want local councillor Solly Davids to step down as they see him as being responsible for the water and sanitation problems in the area.