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Nigerian Man Tortured by South African Police Officers Reveals Harrowing Nine-Day Coma Experience


The Nigerian man, Clifford Iroka Onyedikachi, who was tortured by Boksburg North police officers in South Africa, has described the incident as traumatic.

Media reported that four police officers allegedly tortured Iroka over his identity documents in February 2023. The victim was taken to hospital attention where he was in a coma for nine days.

The 44-year-old Primrose resident was at the Boksburg Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday, September 5, 2023, where Constables Sakhile Mathaba, Mlondolozi Khalipha and Nkateko Hlogwane and Sergeant Sibusiso Shabangu appeared.

Even though they were not in police uniform when they appeared in court, the officers were all dressed in blue. Their case was postponed till September 11 for disclosure of the charge sheet.

The officers, who were arrested at work on February 1 by the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID), face charges of attempted murder, kidnapping and defeating the end of justice

They were granted bail of R5 000 each on February 10. Boksburg North SAPS station commander Colonel Mack Mngomezulu confirmed the officers are all back on their posts.

Speaking to the Boksburg Advertiser outside the court, Iroka said he was in a coma for nine days.

“When I was asked to put my hands up I didn’t switch off the video and an officer questioned it. I didn’t turn off the video because of the command I was given,” he said.

Clifford added that he was searched and afterwards asked for his paperwork to prove he was legally in the country. He alleged that he had a hard and soft copy of the documentation.

He alleged he was put in the police van and taken to the Boksburg North Police Station.

“From there I was taken to something like a shack at the back of the station. The officers kicked and punched me. One of them also had scissors and cut my pants at the top where the string was.

“They focused on my ribs. I’m still battling with pain today and go back to the hospital next month.”

Iroka said he thought he was dying and eventually ended up at Tambo Memorial Hospital, where he was in a coma for nine days.

He spent a total of 16 days at the hospital.

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