Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Romance shattered by cell death

Seventeen days ago, Eben Meyer pulled out all the stops when he proposed to the love of his life, Sylvia Hamman - an enormous diamond ring, rose petals and a bottle of bubbly.

But yesterday, Hamman was still trying to come to terms with the stark reality that her fairy-tale romance with Meyer ended on Saturday morning when he was beaten to death in a police cell.

Meyer's body was found in the holding cells of the Durbanville police station shortly after his arrest for being "drunk in a public place".

Police spokesman Captain Frederick van Wyk said the 48-year-old father of three was detained in a cell with eight others.

"Information would suggest that he had an argument with two other detainees, which led to a fight. The incident occurred half an hour after his detention," said Van Wyk.

"The two suspects who were also being detained for being drunk, are now facing a murder charge. The circumstances surrounding the matter are being investigated." he said.

Moses Dlamini, spokesman for the Independent Police Investigative Directorate, confirmed that they were investigating Meyer's death.

The men, Daniel Dyosi and Sipho Mhlanga, appeared in the Bellville Magistrate's Court yesterday.

Eric Ntabazalila, spokesman for the National Prosecuting Authority in the Western Cape, said both were arrested and charged with drinking in public on Saturday.

"They met [Meyer] in the cells when they got into a fight. No weapons were used, but it is alleged that [Meyer] died after the men hit him with their fists and banged him against the walls."

The case was postponed to May 10 when Dyosi and Mhhlanga are expected to apply for bail.

Hamman could not bring herself to attend the court proceedings.

"I'm not doing too well," she said, fighting back tears.

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