'Hit squad' police get bail

2012-06-22 16:18
Gavel (<a href=http://www.shutterstock.com>Shuttertstock</a>)

Gavel (Shuttertstock)

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

Durban - Eighteen police officers arrested in connection with alleged hit squad activities in the Durban Organised Crime Unit at Cato Manor were on Friday granted bail.

The Durban Regional Court released the men on R5000 bail each, and ordered them to report each Friday to their nearest police station.

Magistrate Sharon Marks also ordered them not to contact any witnesses.

Charges against two other officers were withdrawn on Thursday.

Earlier the Durban Regional Court  heard the bail hearing was "a complete abuse of process.

Advocate Guido Penzhorn described Colonel Frans Khola's admission that some of the 18 had been part of operations where suspects had died as "startling".

The officers were arrested on a number of murder charges allegedly related to their work at the unit.

Khola said, earlier under cross-examination, that although some of the officers were not directly involved in the alleged murders, they had been charged with murder.

He said this was because they were part of the operation that resulted in the deaths of suspects.

"This is all about common purpose."

It emerged that one of the officers - Johnny Smith - was not even a member of the Cato Manor unit at the time of the 2008 murder for which he is accused. He was part of the police's gambling unit.

Khola admitted that there was no ballistic evidence linking Smith to the crime scene, saying Smith had been placed at the crime scene by other members of the Cato Manor unit.

Penzhorn said that the State's case was at best weak.

He said the state had failed to provide any evidence that the accused would interfere with witnesses or tamper with evidence.

There was a heavy security presence at the court.

Ten heavily armed police officers were present at the court, which was again filled with relatives of the 18 officers.

The 18 face 71 charges which include 14 charges of murder, 14 of unlawful possession of ammunition, 14 of unlawful possession of firearms, and four of house-breaking.

One of the 18 men - Rubendren "Shane" Naidoo - arrived late after visiting the funeral parlour to pay his last respects to his 27-year old brother who had recently died.

The 18 men are: Gonasagern Padayachee, 44, Adriaan Stolz, 51, Paul Mostert, 51, Eric Nel, 41, Captain Neville Eva, 45, Adjithsingh Ghaness, 41, Phumelela Makhanya, 45, Willem Ollivier, 59, Peter George, 51, Thembinkosi Mkhwanazi, 47, Mhlabunzima Thabethe, 49, Thathayiphi Mdlalose, 48, Charles "Johnny" Smith, 40, Jeremy Marten, 39, Rubendren "Shane" Naidoo, 33, Raymond Lee, 31, Anton Lockem, 44, and Bruce McInness, 43.
Read more on:    police  |  durban  |  cato manor cops

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

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
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Millions of plastic particles in our food!

Scientists and researchers believe that almost five million tons of plastic is dumped in the oceans every year and it’s affecting our food.



Plastic on your plate
Prince George the green prince?
Lean, green, drifiting machine
One man's $1 million vision for an eco Africa

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts

The Leo moon adds an element of drama and entertainment. A significant person that you may consult or confide in may play an...read more

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


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.


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.