More Cato Manor cops face the chop

2012-02-21 00:00

MORE officers from the scandal-hit Cato Manor organised crime unit could be served with notices of intention to suspend.

So says a source who is among the seven officers issued with such notices last week.

“Seven members were issued with notices on Friday and we believe that more are to follow,” he said.

“They seem to be doing this in phases. They suspend this group this week and the following week it’s that group.”

The source said they felt they were being “picked on” in the investigation.

“We still do not know why they are coming at us with this now. Even on the notices it was not clear,” he said.

“There are police shootings all over the country. Are they going to start issuing notices to all these police officers.”

He said staff at the Cato Manor unit were relocated to the Durban office in a rush. They were told about the closure of their unit at midday on Thursday and moved on Friday.

He said the officers were allowed to collect their dockets.

The source said he intended to fight any attempts to suspend or transfer him. “I am not going to sit on my behind; I intend to fight this all the way to the top. We have a lawyer who is already working on fighting this.”

Attempts to contact Carl van der Merwe, the lawyer representing the officers and the provincial head of the Hawks, Major General Johan Booysen, who has also been issued with a notice of suspension, were unsuccessful.

McIntosh Polela, spokesperson for the Hawks, declined to comment on the matter, saying it was an internal process.

The Cato Manor unit has long been accused of acting as a hit squad.

On Friday notices of intention to suspend were issued to Colonel Willie Olivier, captains Anton Lockham and Neville Eva, warrant officers Ajith Ganesh, Eric Nel and Mac Makhanya and Sergeant Raymond Lee.

The Daily News reported yesterday that on Friday morning three senior officers under the instructions of Hawks boss Lieutenant-General Anwa Dramat arrived at the Cato Manor offices and told members the instruction was very clear: they were to move with immediate effect.

• thamsanqam@witness.co.za

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