Vlakfontein murder suspect found dead in police cell

Police say that they discovered Ernerst Mabaso's body in his cell.

FILE: Murder co-accused Ernest Mabaso stands in the dock at the Lenasia Magistrates Court where the case was postponed on 20 November 2018. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - One of the suspects in the Vlakfontein murder case has been found dead in police custody.

Police say that they discovered Ernest Mabaso's body in his cell last week.

He's believed to have committed suicide.

The 27-year-old and his co-accused Fita Khupe are accused of killing seven members of the same family in Vlakfontein in October last year and burying them at their home.

The pair were due to appear in the Protea Magistrates Court on Thursday morning for a bail application.

The police's Kay Makhubele said that Khupe will still make an appearance.

"I understand the police have just arrived yesterday, who were out to conduct further investigation. Indeed, a quest of inquest has been opened and the matter will be referred to Ipid for further investigation."

Additional reporting by Gia Nicolaides.

(Edited by Mihlali Ntsabo)