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‘He Told Cops That He was Fikile Mbalula’s Bodyguard’: Ipid Probes Mysterious Death of Thapelo Modise in Police Custody



mysterious death

Ipid released more information on the ongoing investigation into the mysterious death of 30-year-old Thapelo Modise inside the Dobsonville police station in Johannesburg. Modise, who was driving his Kia Pegas, was stopped by members of the JMPD on Friday night and arrested on allegations of drunk driving, according to IOL.

Ipid spokesperson Phaladi Shuping stated that after the arrest, Modise, who worked as a bodyguard, was transported to the Dobsonville police station. “It is alleged that on Friday at about 10pm JMPD members were conducting a roadblock at Dobsonville and they arrested an African male and took him to Dobsonville police station to detain him and take blood samples,” said Shuping.

While waiting for a nurse to draw blood samples, Modise requested to speak to Colonel Moagi and informed him that he was a bodyguard for the African National Congress secretary general, comrade Fikile Mbalula. According to Ipid, immediately after talking to Moagi, Modise allegedly took out his firearm and shot himself.

“He shot himself in front of two other suspects arrested for drunken driving who were waiting for their blood to be drawn, three JMPD officers and Colonel Moagi,” Shuping explained. The scene was processed, and a ballistic expert was called to examine it. Modise’s body was taken to Diepkloof mortuary.

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Modise’s grieving mother, Susan, spoke to IOL, expressing disbelief over the circumstances of her son’s death. “If they arrested him on the road, for whatever offence, how come they did not disarm him? How then do you book someone into the police station when he is armed? I am traumatised by what I saw. His brains were on the floor, while his body sat on a chair inside the police station,” she said.

Susan described her son’s body as being covered in bruises, with a gunshot wound at the back of his head. “Thapelo was proficient in using firearms, if he so wanted to kill himself, there was other areas he would have aimed, not the back of his head. After shooting himself, I would expect that he would fall, but no, he was seated on a chair,” she added.

In an interview with Newzroom Afrika, Susan confirmed that Thapelo worked for a private security company based in Pretoria and often guarded Mbalula. “He was working as a bodyguard for Brincor in Pretoria. If there is a client looking for bodyguards, Brincor would take people including Thapelo to that client. Most of the times, they were working for the ANC and he would guard Fikile Mbalula,” she said.

Police in Gauteng have referred all queries to the police watchdog, Ipid, as the investigation continues.

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Picture: Facebook / Bra Spa

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