Cops open inquest docket after Northgate Mall death

While officials says Ebukayi Onyeyewgo died after swallowing drugs, his brother tells a different story.

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

JOHANNESBURG - Gauteng police say they've opened an inquest docket and will wait for postmortem results to determine how a man died at the Northgate Shopping Mall on Wednesday night.

There have been conflicting reports into the Ebukayi Onyeyewgo's death, with his brother Gabriel saying Johannesburg Metro Police Department (JMPD) officers allegedly suffocated him with a plastic bag when he refused to pay a bribe after drugs were found in his possession.

The JMPD's Wayne Minnaar says officers were conducting a drug bust operation when they stopped a suspicious looking car close to the shopping mall.

He says officers found drugs in the car but the man managed to escape and ran inside the mall where he died after swallowing some of the drugs in his possession.

A security guard at the mall has also confirmed the JMPD's version of events.

The police's Mack Mngomezulu says, "As they were chasing him, he started to swallow the tablets. When they caught him, he was weak and also asked for water. He passed away. Currently, they're busy with the inquest."

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