Fikile Mbalula's Bodyguard-Image Source@ZoomsouthafricaFikile Mbalula's Bodyguard-Image Source@Zoomsouthafrica

The family of Thapelo Modise, who served as a bodyguard for ANC Secretary General Fikile Mbalula, is seeking clarity and justice after Thapelo allegedly took his own life while in police custody. The family is questioning the official account and demanding thorough answers from the authorities.

Details of the Incident

Law enforcement officials have commenced an inquest into the death of the 30-year-old Thapelo Modise. He reportedly shot himself while being processed for a drunk driving arrest at a roadblock in Soweto on Friday night. The incident took place around 10 PM at the intersection of Luthuli and Elias Motsoaledi roads in Dobsonville.

According to a police statement:

MPO Mabasa arrested an African male for drunk driving. She escorted the suspect to the station’s nurses for a blood test. In the boardroom, he asked to speak to Lt. Col. Moagi and disclosed his position as a bodyguard to former Minister Fikile Mbalula.

He then pulled out a firearm and shot himself in the head while seated. A nurse, two other suspects, and three JMPD officers were present. IPID and other relevant authorities were contacted, and an inquest case was registered.

The motive behind Modise’s actions remains a mystery.

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Family’s Quest for Answers

Fikile Mbalula’s Bodyguard Thapelo Modise-Image Source@Zoomsouthafrica

Thapelo Modise’s family is left with numerous unanswered questions. They are perplexed as to why Thapelo was in possession of a firearm while under arrest.

Thapelo’s mother, Susan Modise, expressed her anguish and disbelief. The police informed the family at 4:20 AM on Saturday, May 18, 2024, summoning them to Dobsonville Police Station. Upon arrival, they were notified of Thapelo’s death.

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Susan recounted:

“How did they let Thapelo in the van without searching him? I asked the officers for details, but they withheld information. I requested my sister to accompany me. At the station, they broke the news of Thapelo’s death, stating he shot himself while awaiting a blood test for drunk driving. Just like that, my son was gone. His body bore bruises and his face was severely swollen.

The gunshot wound was at the back of his head. He appeared as if he was merely asleep, but his blood and brains were scattered on the floor. We are heartbroken and traumatized. We seek answers from the nurse who was present in the room with Thapelo. We will wait for the Independent Police Investigative Directorate’s (IPID) investigation and hope it provides the closure we desperately need.”


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