A grandfather who was arrested for a halwe mandrax pill died three hours after arriving at prison in what officials claim was a freak accident.
Family members say wardens claim Keith Van Schalkwyk’s death was accidental when he slipped in the showers.
But the 51-year-old’s relatives believe he was beaten to death. Now they are demanding answers from police and Pollsmoor prison officials.
Keith’s distraught son, Wayne van Schalkwyk, 31, says his father was arrested on Wednesday just minutes after he purchased the drug.
“We believe he bought half a mandrax pill and two policemen stopped him,” he says.
“The one in the passenger seat smacked him and then they both beat him.”
Wayne says his dad was taken to Mitchell’s Plain Police Station hours later.
A day after his arrest, Keith was granted R300 bail. His son could only manage to pay the bail on Friday but he arrived too late. They returned on Saturday only to find out Keith had died in the night.
“I gave the paperwork then this girl said, ‘Sorry your father is dead’,” he explains. The son says one warden said he fell in the cells and his body was full of soap.
But Keith’s wife, Doreen Van Schalkwyk, 49, who was visited by prison officials is suspicious.
“He was there for three hours and they said he was wearing his clothing,” she says.
“When we viewed his body, his head was swollen and there was blood on his lips. We want answers because we think he was murdered.”
Pollsmoor spokesperson, Mkhanyisi Spendu says: “He [Keith] fell in the showers but I can only give feedback on the cause of death once we have the autopsy.”