Cele supports 'hit squad' cops

2012-06-21 17:08
Bheki Cele (Werner Beukes, Sapa)

Bheki Cele (Werner Beukes, Sapa)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Johannesburg - Axed police chief Bheki Cele was at the bail hearing of 20 arrested Cato Manor policemen in Durban on Thursday to show moral support, his office said.

The 20 police officers appeared in the Durban Regional Court on charges of murder, assault, theft, and unlawful possession of firearms and ammunition.

They were arrested on Wednesday in a joint operation by the Hawks and the Independent Police Investigative Directorate.

All 20 were members of the Durban Organised Crime Unit, which was shut down in February amid allegations that there was an alleged death squad in its midst.

Most of its members have since been incorporated into the Hawks.

In a statement, issued by Cele's spokesperson Vuyo Mkhize, he said the charges were directly related to the task of crime fighting.

'Gallant crime-fighters'


They did not have licence to carry out their mandate by unlawful means, but because the charges directly related to their official duties and because of their distinguished service records, they were as deserving as other South Africans of the principle of "innocent until proven guilty".

"My only hope is that more South Africans will come out in support of initiatives such as the 'Durban Organised Crime Unit KZN' Facebook page that seeks to galvanise emotional and financial support for these gallant crime-fighters during their hour of need," said Cele.

Should they be found guilty, no one would argue that they be spared the full consequences of their actions.

Amnesty International welcomed the arrests as a breakthrough in fighting impunity for human rights violations.

"The unit's alleged victims included a taxi company owner, Bongani Mkhize, killed three months after he obtained a High Court order constraining the police from killing him; and a 15 year-old school boy, Kwazi Ndlovu, shot dead when heavily-armed members of the unit burst into his home," Amnesty International said.

Impunity

Journalists, lawyers, human rights monitors and family members had battled for more than four years for the unit to account for its crimes.

"Until now, these efforts have been blocked by a climate of impunity fostered by public statements, in the context of the 'war against crime', by senior politicians and police officials," said Mary Rayner, Amnesty International's South Africa researcher.

"We are hopeful that these arrests are evidence of a new political will to take action against members of the police suspected of involvement in human rights violations."

Amnesty International was aware of threats and intimidation being used against the people investigating and exposing these crimes.

It urged the authorities to guarantee the safety of investigators and witnesses, and to ensure the impartiality and independence of the current investigations.

It also urged the government to publicly and unambiguously denounce acts of torture and extra-judicial executions as human rights violations which could not be justified under any circumstances.

- SAPA

Read more on:    police  |  bheki cele  |  durban
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
52 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Wednesday Sir Lowry's Pass - 17:57 PM
    Road name: Old Sir Lowrys Pass Road
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Bezweni Road
  • Wednesday Cape Town - 17:56 PM
    Road name: Buitengracht Street
    TRAFFIC LIGHTS not working at Riebeeck Street
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Samsung Galaxy Y

The Samsung Y (Young) is tiny but powerful with Android...

From R1499.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may find yourself fascinated by something which could draw you in to obsessively exploring this subject in depth....read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.