20 alleged Cato Manor hit squad cops arrested

2012-06-20 12:46

Hawks and the Independent Police Investigations Directorate (IPID) have arrested 20 police officers linked to the Cato Manor murder and robbery unit accused of being involved in hit squad operations and illegal killings in the province.

The 20 were arrested in a joint raid carried out by a team of more than 60 detectives in Durban, the West Rand and Hammanskraal in response to December 2011 claims by the Sunday Times that the group were involved in illegal killings.

Hawks spokesperson McIntosh Polela told a media briefing earlier today that the arrests followed on a Hawks and IPID probe ordered by their respective heads – Major General Anwa Dramat and Francois Beukman and a second investigation ordered by then acting police commissioner Lt General Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi.

“IPID and the Hawks have been working together to finalise the investigations that led to today’s arrests. The two organisations went ahead with this morning’s operation after securing warrants from the National Prosecuting Authority,’’ Polela said.

The suspects face charges including murder, assault, theft and unlawful possession of guns and ammunition and will appear in the Durban Magistrate Court tomorrow.

Polela said today’s arrests represented the “first phase’’ of the investigation and that further arrests would follow in later phases.

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