Cops not doing justice to anti-mining activist's murder probe

2016-03-30 23:00

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Johannesburg – Police were not doing justice to the investigation into the murder of anti-mining activist, Sikhosiphi Rhadebe, his lawyers said on Wednesday.

Rhadebe, who was the chairperson of the Amadiba Crisis Committee, was shot dead last week at his home in Xolobeni in the Eastern Cape.

Residents in the area are divided over a plan by an Australian company to mine titanium.

"We do not believe that the SAPS is providing adequate resources to the investigation," said the Legal Resources Centre and Richard Spoor Attorneys, who have taken the case.

"There have been multiple incidences where investigators have not conducted their investigative functions and have cited transport issues as the reason for not having done so. They have not had any visible forensic capacity at the processing of the body or at the crime scene," the lawyers added.

Independent experts

They claimed to have organised an independent forensic pathologist and an independent ballistics expert to conduct the post-mortem procedure alongside the state doctor but they experienced resistance from the Mzamba Police Station.

The post-mortem was eventually conducted by the state in the absence of the private pathologist.

"We must further note that the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (the Hawks) agreed to inspect the scene with our independent expert at 10:00 today [Wednesday], to be followed by an inspection of the hijacked vehicle used by the culprits in the commission of the crime at the pound in Port Shepstone," the lawyers said.

"The Hawks had not arrived at the scene when we left at 13:00. When we arrived at the Port Shepstone pound, we learned that the vehicle had been released to the owners on 24 March 2016, nearly a week ago, without the Hawks having inspected it. When we conveyed this to the Hawks, they were as surprised as we were that the vehicle had been released."

Meanwhile, a memorial service was expected to be conducted for Rhadebe on Thursday. He will be buried on Saturday.

Read more on:    sikhosiphi rhadebe  |  east london  |  crime

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