Cato Manor cops challenge search warrants

2012-08-17 11:19

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Durban - Eighteen policemen accused of operating a death squad in Durban are claiming that a search of their homes was unconstitutional, it was reported on Friday.

They want a judge to order anything taken by the search teams to be returned to them, The Mercury reported.

The 18, who were members of the Durban Organised Crime Unit at Cato Manor have reportedly filed papers in the KwaZulu-Natal High Court.

They face 71 charges, including 14 of murder, 14 of unlawful possession of ammunition, 14 of unlawful possession of firearms, and four of house-breaking.

In a main affidavit in the court application, Warrant Officer Paul Mostert said male searchers went through his wife's underwear, which he found "a completely unnecessary and distasteful exercise".

Male searchers also went through Warrant Officer John Smith's wife's clothing and personal documentation.

They took three cameras and a computer belonging to his wife.

The search teams also went through the personal belongings of Anton Lockem's 80-year-old mother, who was recovering from a broken vertebra and femur.

The newspaper reported that, according to Mostert, the search warrants were not addressed to any named police officers, were "unintelligible" and overbroad.

The officers were expected back in the Durban Regional Court on August 24, for the setting of a date for trial in the High Court.
- SAPA
Read more on:    police  |  durban  |  cato manor cops
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