Post-mortem sheds light on IY protest death findings

A post-mortem revealed that 26-year-old activist Songezo Ndude died from blunt force trauma sustained during the Hout Bay housing protests (“Protest violence claims life”, Sentinel, July 7).

The exact circumstances of his death are still being investigated.

The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) is investigating Mr Ndude’s death after it was alleged that it was a police officer involved in the incident.

Although the post-mortem revealed Mr Ndude died from blunt force trauma, it is still unknown what caused his head injury, said Ipid spokesperson, Moses Dlamini.

“The post-mortem reveals that the deceased died from blunt force trauma. It is not known whether it was from a gunshot or a brick or any other object. An inquest docket is being investigated,” said Mr Dlamini.

He said it is not known how long it will be until the investigation is complete. “Once the investigation has been completed the docket will be submitted to the National Prosecution Authority to take the inquest process forward,” Mr Dlamini said.

Disgruntled Imizamo Yethu residents protested the first week of July over the conditions at the temporary relocation area where residents were moved to after the fires and also demanded houses and land. Protesters were outside the Hout Bay police station when SAPS’ Public Order Policing Unit allegedly fired rubber bullets, stun grenades and teargas on the morning of Monday July 3. Mr Ndude was injured during the shooting and transferred to Groote Schuur Hospital where a hospital spokesperson said he died on Tuesday July 4 at 9.45am.

Hout Bay police station said there were no other reported injuries. Mr Ndude’s brother, IY Movement leader, Mkhululi Ndude, was arrested along with three other people. He was released from jail the afternoon of July 4 when he found out about his brother’s death.

“To me, he was a hero. He is a martyr, and his death must not be in vain. We must continue our fight for land and housing,” Mr Ndude had previously told Sentinel News.