Three Eastern Cape policemen have been arrested for the murder of a Seymour farmer. Investigators looking into the matter found conflicting police and postmortem reports and then uncovered evidence implicating the three policemen.
In May 2006 the police officers received information that an alleged criminal was hiding on a farm near Seymour. According to statements from the police at the scene, they surrounded the farm house and ordered the residents to come out, but the farmer, Shadrack Vusumzi Nkuzo, came out of the house and allegedly started firing at the officers. Nkuzo was allegedly shot in the head in the return fire. However, the postmortem report said that Nkuzo had died in a car accident. The two contrasting statements raised suspicion and a formal investigation was launched into the officers’ conduct.
Nkuzo’s body was then exhumed and another postmortem was conducted, which confirmed he had been killed by a bullet. The three officers, one from Fort Beaufort and two from Seymour, were arrested on 11 January 2008. They were released on bail of R1 000 after appearing in the Seymour Magistrate’s Court on 14 January. According to advocate Sakhele Poswa, head of the Eastern Cape Independent Complaints Directorate, there is another suspect. The three officers will reappear in court on 28 January. – David Steynberg