‘Sticky-tape’ suspects walk free

2014-06-10 00:00

THE men who were arrested as suspected members of the so-called “sticky-tape gang” have walked free after the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) was unable to prosecute them.

This has prompted an outcry from farmers and victims of the gang that operated in the Camperdown and Cato Ridge areas.

According to the KwaZulu-Natal NPA’s Natasha Ramkisson-Kara, the matter was withdrawn due to insufficient evidence. “This means that there are no reasonable prospects of a successful prosecution,” she said.

Adrian Fourie, one of the gang’s victims, told The Witness that he was not notified by either the police or the court that the case against the suspects had been withdrawn last week.

“It’s sad that no one came and gave us, the victims, an update on the new developments in the case,” said Fourie.

“Who messed up this case? The documents that I read in court suggested it was sloppy police work. I want to know why they are not being prosecuted for the possession of firearms as the firearms found on them belonged to me,” alleged Fourie.

He added that initially when he asked about the case he was told that it had been sent to the director of public prosecutions for a decision.

He said the gang had used his tools to gain access to his strongroom, using drills, angle grinders and hammers, causing about R40 000 in damage to his home. Later some of his property was recovered.

Another farmer, Alistair Schwegmann, said he hired an informer and paid him out of his own pocket. “How can it happen that after putting so much time into tracking the gang to make sure that they are prosecuted, the case just gets withdrawn?” he asked.

He added that the investigating officer learnt the news that the gang had been released from the farmers themselves. He said victims are fearful that the alleged gang will continue terrorising the community.

The gang used sticky-tape to bind and gag their victims before assaulting and robbing them.


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