Arrested cop was known to be dodgyâ Glebelands Hostel residents claim
South Africa Arrested cop was known to be dodgyâ Glebelands Hostel residents claim 07 December 2017 - 16:32 By Nathi Olifantâ Jeff Wicks And Matthew Savides Glebelands Hostel. File photo.
Image: ROGAN WARD
Residents of Glebelands Hostel in Durban have welcomed the arrest of a police officer linked to assassinati ons at the violence-riddled precinct.
At least 90 people have been killed in the last two years in violence linked to clashes at the hostelâ with residents long having complained â" including under oath at the ongoing Moerane Commission into political killings in KwaZulu-Natal â" that police were involved.
The 37-year-old officer was among five men arrested in a raid by cops on Wednesday and Thursday. The detective constable was taken into custody at the Durban Central police station where he works. His name is known to TimesLIVE but he cannot be identified until he appears in courtâ which is likely to happen on Friday.
Police spokesman Brigadier Jay Naicker said that crime intelligence operatives had spent months gathering evidence.
âCoordinated predawn raids were conducted in Harding and the hostel for wanted suspectsââ he said.
A man was arrested in Hardingâ while a second was arrested in Glebelandsâ Block 51.
âA team al so went to Block 42 where they arrested a 34-year-old suspect. During a search of the room of the 34-year-suspectâ a police capâ two police reflectors jacketsâ a state issued laptop as well as a number of internal police correspondences were seizedâ" Naicker added.
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The cop was arrested at the Durban Central police station on Thursday.
Also on Thursdayâ a 28-year-old man â" the fifth arrest - was taken into custody at the Umlazi Magistrateâs Court. The man was previously arrested for a murder at the Glebelands Hostel and was granted bail on Thursday â" howeverâ he was arrested afterwards âas a warrant was issued for his arrest on an attempted murder caseââ said Naicker.
One residentâ who spoke on condition of anonymityâ applauded the arrestsâ saying it was a âstep in the right directionâ.
He said the officer was singled out by name several times at the Moerane Commission as being one of the key figures in the bloodshed. Neither heâ nor the SAPSâ h ave taken the stand to respond to any allegations levelled against them.
âThis is great achievement and I want to applaud the police for this feat. Iâm also hoping that they have a watertight and prima facie caseââ he said.
The resident said the arrest of the cop could start restoring confidence in police in the Umlazi area.
âWhat a way to end a bloody year! It shows that when police have a determination to end violenceâ they do it. All these years collusion between the cops and the criminals was deliberately allowed to happen. You would give confidential information to a crime intelligence agentâ only to be confronted by criminals about it or be killed for thatââ he said.
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Researcher and activist Vanessa Burger also welcomed the officerâs arrestâ but said that many deaths could have been avoided had police listened sooner to residentsâ complains about the copâs alleged involvement. She said that police only started to take allegations seriously following a recent parliamentary oversight commission visit that âhad put pressure on themâ.
âIâm very happyâ and it sounds like they may have got one of the very important roleplayers behind the violence at Glebelands. But why did it take so long? If they [police] had acted on community information and complaintsâ not that many people would have died.
âBut I must congratulate the officers whoâve done the work. Itâs goodââ she said.
Burger added that the challenge now was to make sure that the officer and his alleged accomplices didnât get off lightly.
âThereâs a habit with Glebelands suspects that thereâs a catch-and-release type of thing. They are churned through the justice system and then they pick up where they left offââ she said.
Advocate Solo Mdledle of the Moerane Commission welcomed the arrests.
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âNaturallyâ one assumes that a person is innocent until proven guilty. Howeverâ the arrests are encouraging to the work of the commission and bolster confidence to the publicââ said Mdledle.
âAlso one can only hope that the police have thoroughly done their work and that this will culminate to successful prosecution and justice will take its course.â
Kwanele Ncalaneâ spokesman for community safety MEC Mxolisi Kaundaâ also welcomed the arrests.
âIn fact this vindicates a long held view by the MEC that there are police officers either involved or protecting suspects at Glebelands. We are happy that our interventions are workingâ for example the deployment of a multi-discipline team and the recent opening of a new satellite police station in Glebelands. This augurs well for our efforts.
âThere now exists an element of trustâ and this breakthrough is as a result of information-sharing between the police and the community. Having said thisâ we must not lose sight of more work tha t still needs to be done and we have identified Glebelands as one of the hotspots this festive season in which we will do raidsââ said Ncalane.SUNDAY TIMES FROM R56 PER MONTH Subscribe now for full
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