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Sunday, 13 July 2008

Alzheimer sufferer James Frederick Brown, 69, found dead in police cell for 'stealing' chocolate worth R8,50...

"Kill him, kill him,' screamed the Shoprite cashiers as the mob carried the frail old man out, with children punching him from below...

Jul 11 2008 Kriel. Afrikaner Alzheimer sufferer James Frederick Brown, 69, couldn't even remember whether he'd paid for a bar of chocolate -- but he was set upon on Tuesday at the Shoprite supermarket in Kriel by a security guard -- and then attacked by a vigilante mob, which was egged on by screaming cashiers yelling 'kill him, kill him'', while they were carrying the sick old man out of the shop, punching and kicking him.
You can send your protest about this racist murder directly to Shoprite by contacting them here:


Corner Andre & Brownwyn Street,
Kriel, 2271
South Africa

Tel: +27 (17) 648 9500
Fax: +27 (17) 648 9504

Mob carried him out while kids were beating him up:

An elderly eye-witness -- too terrified to provide a name -- described how a large mob had dragged the sick old white man out of the shop - 'children were even beating up on him from below'.
  • "It was horrid. Even the cashiers added to the hysteria by screaming that the old man had to be killed if he wants to steal chocolates.'
    Brown's daughter Rose-Marie Steyn said the old man had wandered from their home at around 12:30 from their home in Springbok Avenue, something he did often. "Everybody in our neighbourhood knew of his confusion caused by his Alzheimer's. We started worrying when he didn't come home at around 13:30,' she said.

Police held him at gunpoint in a dark cell:

A hairstylist working nearby then phoned her husband Willie to let them know that the old man had been arrested for theft.

  • "We spent all afternoon at the police station trying to see him but the police refused, claiming he was 'aggressive' and should rather sleep.'
  • "We told the police that he is an Alzheimer's sufferer but they refused to listen,' said his wife Rosa Brown. "A policeman even told me that he was keeping his gun on him because James was so wild.' They insisted that he be kept in the cells until 18:00.

"When we finally went to fetch him Willie went along to calm my dad down,' said Mrs Steyn. The horrified familyfound the old man lying on his back on the floor of the dark cell, in a large puddle of blood. The police on the scene claimed he 'd probably 'fallen in the cell and hit his head'.
Local doctor Leon Pelser immediately was called in to examine Mr Brown in the cell with family present.

  • Dr Pelser said: 'it was so dark that I had to ask a policeman to turn on his flash light so that I could try and revive Mr Brown. Under these most horrid circumstances I opened up his airways with a pipe and massaged his heart, but to no avail. I entered the cause of death as 'unnatural'.
  • "I examined him very thoroughly because I knew there will be an inquest.'

Police superintendent Abie Khoabane claimed in his comments to Beeld newspaper that Brown 'already had blood on his face and his clothes when the (shop's) security guards handed him over to the police.' He wasn't there at the time - he 's just the police spokesman for the province.
Dr Pelser said he'd found wounds to the old man's right-eye, his nose and chin, and a large hole in the back of his skull. How he came to get these wounds will have to be established by an inquest.

Beeld cited Mrs Sonto Mlotshwa, the manager of Kriel Shoprite - claiming that the old man had been "arrested for theft'.

  • She didn't know a thing about the way he was assaulted by the mob during this 'arrest' although she must have been present, and the security guards wouldn't say a word either.
  • And Shoprite's management are also stonewalling: they were unable to comment as to how a confused old man with Alzheimer's ended up being arrested and assaulted by a howling mob of shoppers, being encouraged to 'kill him' by screaming tellers - just because he couldn't remember whether he'd paid for a R8,50 bar of chocolate or not.

Brown's family are besides themselves with anger. "How can they do this to an old, sick man? He didn't deserve this. His illness made him difficult at times, but he probably just forgot to pay,' his daughter wept.

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