Sipho Mutsi

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Biographical information


Sipho Mutsi, was a political activist and artist who died at age seventeen whilst in police custody at the Odendaalrus police station in the Free State on 5 May 1985.

First name: 
Last name: 
Date of death: 
5 May 1985
Location of death: 
Odendaalrus, Free State
Cause Of Death: 
Head injuries sustained while in custody


Sipho Mutsi died in 1985 at the Odendaalrus police station, he was the youngest detainee to die in police custody at age 17. He was arrested with connection to riots in the Odendaalrus area.The police stated that he had lost consciousness at the police station due to an epileptic fit, hereafter he was admitted to Pelonomi Hospital in Bloemfontein, where he died. His family called for an inquest, as they did not believe the statements made by police officials at the time.  Sipho Mutsi’s post-mortem autopsy showed that he had died a head injury, which could not have been natural causes. Lawyer, Richard Spoor, announced a state autopsy showed the cause of death to be a brain haemorrhage, the result of a blow to his head. The inquest commenced on 2 December 1985.

Last updated : 29-Nov-2012

This article was produced for South African History Online on 01-Mar-2012