The man’s uncle, Andy Emmanuel, identified him as Chukwudi Innocent Nwome, Randburg Sun reported.
“My nephew has passed away due to the bias nature of the police,” said Emmanuel.
Family members and friends alleged the Johannesburg Metro police officers had stopped Nwome and took him to his home in Cosmo City.
“The two men then put a white plastic bag over his head to torture him. He then suffocated, and the two men left his body outside the mall,” said family members.
However, Metro police spokesperson Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar said the incident began when officers stopped a car near Northgate Mall at about 8pm yesterday. The driver of the vehicle allegedly then jumped out and ran inside the mall.
“It is also alleged that he swallowed the drugs, which he had on him and dropped dead,” he said.
Numerous security entities were on the scene, namely Londoloza, SOS Protec Sure and the shopping centre’s security.
Security aided in keeping the peace when it was evident the crowd was growing substantially.
Londoloza stayed behind after the officials left to ensure the safety of the centre.
Northgate marketing manager Natalie Berkhout said: “The centre management of Northgate Shopping Centre is aware of the very unfortunate incident that ended on the evening of March 4 at the mall. An inquest with SAPS will go forward. Business is running as normal.”
– Caxton News Service