Cato Manor cops get property back

2012-10-17 21:44
Johan Booysen  (Khaya Ngwenya, City Press)

Johan Booysen (Khaya Ngwenya, City Press)

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Durban - Items seized during searches of the homes of former members of the now-disbanded Durban Organised Crime unit will be returned.

Carl van der Merwe, the lawyer representing the men, told Sapa he had received a letter advising him that everything seized would have to be returned to them.

The 24, including the head of the Hawks in KwaZulu-Natal, Major General Johan Booysens, are accused of more than 70 crimes, including the murder of 28 people. They are all out on bail.

They were arrested during August and June. Many of them had their homes searched and numerous items were seized.

The raids were carried out in a joint operation with the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (formerly the Independent Complaints Directorate).

National Prosecuting Authority spokesperson Natasha Ramkisson said the NPA "has decided that the accused can possess items that they are lawfully allowed to possess". These included computers and memory sticks.

All the officers were served with suspension notices at the end of August, pending disciplinary procedures.

Van der Merwe said none of the men had so far been informed of any disciplinary proceedings.

He said under the police's own rules disciplinary procedures had to be put into effect within 60 days of the suspension notices being issued.

The criminal charges relate to the deaths of suspects, and that the unit operated as an enterprise under Booysens' command.

It is further alleged that the policemen obtained financial benefits from associations and businesses, and individuals in conflict with the people they allegedly killed.

They would appear in the Durban Regional Court again on 29 October.

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