Constable held for cop’s death

2010-06-19 00:00

A POLICE constable and a “hitman” were arrested on Thursday night in connection with the execution-style, cold-blooded murder of his senior colleague last month.

The 32-year-old police constable and a 27-year-old man who lives in KwaMashu Hostel were arrested during a police operation.

Their names have been withheld until their court appearance.

Their arrest followed the murder of Lieutenant Colonel Francis Pillay (50), who was gunned down in the presence of his wife Roseann. The killing happened at the entrance of the couple’s home in Isipingo on May 26. It is alleged that the gunman was positioned next to the entrance when the couple arrived home from shopping. Pillay was shot in the chest and neck and he died at the scene.

Police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Vincent Mdunge said the suspected “hitman” was arrested in his home at the hostel. Police were later led to Excelsior Court in Berea where they arres­ted the constable.

“The information at hand suggests that the police constable conspired with the hitman and made an offer to pay R5 000 upon the successful killing of Lieutenant Colonel Francis Pillay,” said Mdunge.

Mdunge said the murder of Pillay, who was working in the police disciplinary unit in Durban, was related to an internal trial. “It appears that the constable had realised Pillay was going to find him guilty of committing assault on duty, which was going to lead to his expulsion. He then hired a hitman to kill Pillay.”

It is alleged that Pillay was a presiding officer in a departmental trial of the constable, who is accused of assaulting a captain at the Bay­view police station near Chatsworth where they both worked.

Weekend Witness has been informed that, after the assault, about 30 police officers were relocated to other police stations, including the constable.

But the captain is still with the same police station.

Mdunge said other police officers were moved for a separate matter.

The captain who was assaulted declined to comment on the dispute that led to the assault.

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