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It was my worst nightmare picking up pieces of my son’s body after hit-and-run, says Dad

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A Heidelberg father has described his worst nightmare: having to collect pieces of his son’s body after he was killed in an alleged hit-and-run by a police officer.

A Heidelberg father has described his worst nightmare: having to collect pieces of his son’s body after he was killed in an alleged hit-and-run by a police officer.

The death of 26-year-old Nicolin Davids in an open field opposite the Heidelberg rugby stadium two weeks ago has angered residents, who planned to march to Heidelberg police station on Friday to demand that an independent detective from the provincial detective service take over the probe.

Davids’ stepfather, Hendrik Liebenberg, 49, said the family was left

broken and still had many unanswered

questions after the incident.

“His mother, Ezmarelda (Liebenberg), has been unable to talk and cries when she thinks of our son and how we found him. I went to the scene after the police were there and collected pieces of his brain. So I ask you, how did the police and forensic services do their work if pieces of our son were still lying around?”

Liebenberg said the investigating officer had only visited the family twice following the incident and they had not been provided with forensic report results. He said the family was unable to bury their son as the body was still with forensics almost two weeks after his death, and they would now only be able to hold a memorial service tomorrow.

According to police, the incident occurred following an annual community sports day when a truck allegedly drove over Davids while he was lying on the field. Police said the truck driver was taken in for questioning and a post-

mortem conducted as part of the investigation. A culpable homicide case had been registered, with no one yet arrested.

Police spokesperson Novela Potelwa said: “The matter has been lodged with the offices of the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid). Therefore, we would not wish to comment on the matter and unduly influence the investigation. We will allow for the investigation to run its course and we will await its outcome.”

Ipid spokesperson Sontago Siesa on Thursday said he would be unable to provide a response as he was involved in budget meetings throughout the day.

Activist Colin Arendse has written to Police Minister Bheki Cele requesting his intervention in what he described as gross negligence by police officers.

Community leader Purcilla Hunter said the community was marching because there were too many questions around the police’s conduct following the deaths of Davids and Gerald Esau.

Esau died in hospital following injuries sustained while in police custody in 2015. His death is being investigated by Ipid.

Hunter said: “Witnesses are saying that police procedure was not followed when Nicolin was found. People have also identified a police vehicle, and the officer behind the wheel was at the scene. However, police have linked another truck as responsible.

“This is why we are saying an independent investigator must look into this matter, as we do not feel the police are comfortable investigating their own.”

Hunter said residents would only be willing to co-operate with the investigation if an impartial detective took over.

Anyone with information about the incident can anonymously contact Crime Stop at 086 001 0111 or SMS Crime Line at 32211.

Cape Times