MEMBERS of Nelson Mandela Bay’s police Tactical Response Team (TRT) have been accused of completing a case docket instead of attending to a Somali man dying in a cell, the Port Elizabeth Magistrate’s Court heard yesterday.
In April last year, Osman Nuur Mohamed, 39, was allegedly assaulted by TRT members while hiding inside Small Pot Shop, in Kwazakhele. He was then taken to the Kwazakhele police station where he died of his injuries.
Constable Mawanda Tolom, 30, one of the six TRT officers who arrested Mohamed, is facing a charge of murder.
Warrant Officer Sindile Bongwana told the court yesterday he was on duty when three TRT officers brought Mohamed to the station after he was arrested for illegal possession of a firearm.
"The two officers dragged him and insisted on opening a docket first before they took him to get medical attention,” Bongwana said.
"When I inquired from them what was wrong with the deceased, they simply responded by saying he faked sickness.”
Warrant Officer Michael Dekker testified that on the night of the incident he was in charge of the holding cells.
"He [Mohamed] was unable to walk by himself and the two officers dragged him. He was groaning. I did not see any visible wound, but I sensed something was wrong. I suggested he be taken to the hospital, but they said they needed to compile the docket first,” Dekker said.
The state alleges that prior to the incident, Mohamed had been armed with a knife and a firearm and was running away towards the back of the shop when a group of six officers pounced on him.
He was wrapped in a blanket after being unable to walk following the alleged assault.
The trial was postponed to October 2.