Police officers lied about how a Nigerian national died and they could have been behind his death‚ the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) said.

“It is alleged that on or about October 10 2017 the accused police officers interrogated the [man] and suffocated him‚ resulting in his death‚” said Ipid’s spokesperson Moses Dlamini.

“According to the police‚ they had found drugs on the [man] but this was a false story to cover up the torture and murder‚” Dlamini added.

He said a postmortem of 25-year-old Ibrahim Badmus by two pathologists confirmed the torture.

The eight police officers — six men and two women — have since been charged for his death. Following his death‚ the officers claimed they were attacked by drug dealers.

The group is scheduled to appear in the Vanderbijlpark Magistrate’s Court on Monday after the Director of Public Prosecutions decided that the eight be charged for murder and torture.

There was a large outcry following Ibrahim Badmus’s death. At the time‚ Sowetan interviewed a police constable who spoke of how he survived a brutal attack by a man he had previously arrested for drug dealing.

He was among a group of police officers who were assaulted by alleged drug dealers‚ shown in a video that went viral. The officer was allegedly stabbed in the neck with a broken beer bottle and repeatedly hit on his head with a wheel spanner.

The police were apparently confronted by about 100 men in De Forest Street in Vanderbijlpark‚ where they were conducting a raid on one of the houses. The group accused the police of being behind the death of Badmus.

The officer said the situation reached boiling point when a group of alleged drug peddlers arrived on the scene and found Badmus lying on the floor.

“When I got there I was accosted by a Nigerian national whom I previously arrested for drug dealing. He then asked whether I have seen what my colleagues have done. I told him to stop fighting the police‚” the constable said.

“He started to attack me‚ saying I must also die. While I was trying to move away from him he attacked me with a beer bottle. I was also hit on my head with a wheel spanner. At the time I had already handed over my service firearm to a warrant officer who was at the scene because they were outnumbering us. I thought they might overpower me and take the firearm‚ and use it against me‚” he said.

Six police officers were injured while two police vehicles were damaged during the fracas and a police firearm was reported stolen.