An alleged burglar hung himself in the Kwanobuhle police station cells with a lace he pulled out of his pants.
Yonela Mkokeli, 21, was found hanging in the police station cells at about 2:30pm on Thursday.
The suicide has sparked an internal probe by police and a criminal investigation by police watchdog, Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid).
The latest Ipid statistics show that a nationally 302 people died in police custody during the 2016/17 period.
Police spokeswoman Captain Gerda Swart said that Mkokeli was arrested at 12:30pm on Thursday for burglary and theft.
“The police responded to a complaint of house breaking and theft in Bucwa Street, Kwanobuhle, after community members arrested the suspect. They then called the police and handed him over,” she said.
Swart said that Mkokeli was found hanging from the holding bars inside the cells.