Ipid confirms investigation into Vlakfontein murder accused’s death

Ipid spokesperson Moses Dlamini says that because Ernest Mabaso died in police custody, they’ve stepped in to find out what exactly happened.

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 – The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) has confirmed that it is investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of Vlakfontein murder accused Ernest Mabaso.

The 27-year-old reportedly hanged himself in a Cape Town cell last week.

Mabaso and his 61-year-old-co-accused Fita Khupe were expected to apply for bail on Thursday at the Protea Magistrates Court.

They were arrested for the murder of seven relatives in Vlakfontein last year.

Ipid spokesperson Moses Dlamini says that because Mabaso died in police custody, they’ve stepped in to find out what exactly happened.

"The death apparently occurred in the holding cells at the Cape Town Central Prison between the hours of 5am in the morning and 8am. The investigation into his death continues."

The pair had both pleaded not guilty to the killings of four children and three women killed in their home in October.

However, Mabaso had confessed that he killed the Khoza family on Khupe’s orders.

The matter will resume in court next week when Mabaso’s death certificate is expected to be presented.

(Edited by Mihlali Ntsabo)