The relatives of a man who died because of the injuries he sustained after he was brutally assaulted by police officers for violating lockdown restrictions on the first day of the lockdown have notified the government of their intentions to sue the government for the incident, Newsday reports.
Through the ZLHR lawyers, the family of Levison Ncube have written to the Attorney General’s office indicating that they intend to sue the state for causing the death of Levison. ZLHR wrote:
We refer to the matter wherein we act for the relatives of the late Levison Ncube who advise us that the deceased Ncube was an adult (25) during his lifetime. He was not married and did not have any children. He was employed as a commuter omnibus driver whose responsibilities included looking after his two young brothers and a pregnant girlfriend whom he stayed with in Emabuthweni suburb in Bulawayo
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The deceased left home with his girlfriend at 7pm on March 30 going to the nearby shops. It is said that on their way, they were approached by four police officers, who happened to be on their routine patrol enforcing the lockdown regulations. The police officers are said to have requested for identification from the two and also asked where they were employed
Ncube was slapped on the face by a police officer before he could produce his identity documents and fell backwards, hit his head against the tarred road and sustained head injuries.
The deceased lost consciousness and his girlfriend advised one of his younger brothers that attended the scene and asked the police officers to take him to hospital. A Honda Fit pirate taxi was then used to transport him to Mpilo Hospital
Ncube was discharged on April 3, but did not fully recover from the injuries and was paralysed on one side of his body. He succumbed to the injuries on April 7 at home. The lawyers said a post-mortem performed on April 9 at the United Bulawayo Hospitals revealed that the cause of death was subarachnoid haemorrhage and head trauma.
A follow-up made with Western Commonage Police Station which is investigating the circumstances leading to his death has revealed that the docket is yet to be completed. The investigating officer and the officer-in-charge have refused to disclose the identity of the police officer who assaulted the deceased stating that this information can only be disclosed when an inquest is held before a magistrate. They, however, disclosed that he is stationed at Western Commonage Police Station
The Ncube Family incident is the 4th police brutality incident that has resulted in civilians suing the police force in Bulawayo for police brutality.