Man dies at Northgate Mall, angry crowd gathers

The dead man’s brother says he was suffocated by metro police after refusing to pay a bribe for the drugs.

There are conflicting reports on how a man died at Northgate Mall in Johannesburg. Picture: @Mpho_Biz via Twitter.

JOHANNESBURG - There are conflicting reports on how a man who was stopped by metro police died at Northgate Mall.

The Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) says they stopped a suspicious looking vehicle earlier this evening. They allege officers found drugs inside the vehicle.

The department's Wayne Minnaar says the driver of the vehicle, Ebukayi Onyeyewgo, escaped and ran inside the mall where he died after swallowing some of the drugs in his possession.

Minnaar says: "It's alleged the man swallowed the drugs which he then died of."

Meanwhile, Onyeyewgo's brother Gabriel says his sibling was suffocated by the JMPD after refusing to pay a bribe when drugs were found in his possession.

"They wanted money from him but he refused to give them money."

The security at the mall has confirmed the metro police's version of events.

"He swallowed the drugs in an attempt to hide the evidence and it looks like one of the packets opened in his stomach and he died," said a security official who didn't want to be named.

Police say they have opened an inquest docket and will await the post-mortem results to determine how the man died.

Eyewitnesses say an angry group of community members gathered at the scene after word of Onyeyewgo's death spread.