Eight South African police officers have appeared before the Pretoria High Court for the alleged killing of a Nigerian.
They were arraigned on Monday before the court on murder and torture charges, more than two years after Ibrahim Badmus was killed in the Vaal area outside Johannesburg.
The court’s court session was, however, delayed for over two hours before it got off to a start.
Badmus, aged 25, was killed in October 2017 during interrogation in a police raid at his home which he shared with some persons.
One of his flat-mates and a Congolese, Steve Lumbwe, had said in an interview that he witnessed the incident that led to Badmus’ death.
“I found Omo (the deceased), my tenant on handcuff. There was a plastic where they put paper spray on him. I asked the police ‘why are you doing this to him’? They said he’s a drug dealer, he must take out the drug and I was like ‘no, he doesn’t sell drugs’.
“My tenant was on handcuff and he started calling ‘Steve, I can’t breathe’. I started fighting with them and tried to help the guy but the other one (police officer) took me out as well,” he narrated.
The incident, which came barely one week after another Nigerian Jelili Omoyele was shot dead in Johannesburg over an alleged 300 Rand parking lot debt, sparked outrage in Nigeria.
The Chairman/Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, had said that the incident was gradually eroding the confidence of Nigerians on the determination and ability of the authorities to “put a stop to further and deliberate killings of Nigerians” living in South Africa.