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Call to investigate suicide at police station

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A 24-year-old woman is believed to have hanged herself in the cells of the Williston police station.

A 24-YEAR-old woman, Rosaline de Bruyn, is believed to have hanged herself in the cells of the Williston police station.

The DA said in a statement yesterday that the party would be submitting an urgent request to the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) to conduct a forensic investigation into the fourth suicide alleged to have occurred at the Williston police station over the past decade.

“De Bruyn was found dead in her cell on November 9. This was just five hours after she was locked up earlier that morning, for her alleged involvement in a fight the night before,” the DA constituency head of Hantam and Karoo Highlands, Gizella Opperman, said yesterday.

Opperman said that, according to Joanne De Bruyn, a family member of the deceased, the sister on duty at the local hospital was contacted at about 1.30pm to certify the death.

“The sister apparently informed the family that, by the time she arrived at the police cells, the body was already cold. She also noted that the deceased’s neck appeared to have been broken,” Opperman added.

“It has been further alleged that De Bruyn’s body was only discovered by the police hours after death occurred, when the police on duty had finally finished celebrating the Springboks’ Rugby World Cup victory with an unplanned motor cavalcade around the area.”

Opperman stated that the family, who have been left deeply traumatised by the death, feel that the police should be charged with gross negligence for what happened.

“The incident has left the community with more questions than answers.

“It simply cannot be tolerated that this is the fourth alleged suicide at the station, without any internal investigation and without any feedback to the respective families or community members,” Opperman said.

“We will be submitting a complaint to IPID, for them to institute an urgent investigation into the four alleged suicides. We need to know what happened as well as what happened to the three other suicide victims who died at the Williston police station.”

Police spokesperson Brigadier Mohale Ramatseba said yesterday that the incident at the Williston police station was being investigated by IPID. “Therefore the SAPS will not be commenting on this matter.”