Trial of KZN 'death squad' cops postponed to 2017

2016-04-01 11:33

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Durban - The protracted case against members of the so-called "Cato Manor death squad" has been delayed again, and set down for three months of trial in January 2017.

The members, including suspended KwaZulu-Natal Hawks boss Johan Booysen, appeared briefly in the Durban High Court on Friday morning.

If the matter eventually goes to trial as planned in 2017, the group of 28 police officers would have been suspended on full pay for more than five years.

This was the latest in a string of remands since the members of the Cato Manor serious and violent crimes unit were arrested in 2012.

The squad face a litany of charges, including theft and murder, specifically of suspects during the course of their arrests.

They allegedly killed these suspects or rivals of taxi operators with whom they were doing business, and were accused of planting weapons to create the impression that the killings were justified.

An embattled Booysen was initially indicted on charges of racketeering, along with the other 28, but had the charges set aside in a successful high court application.

He was then suspended for a third time, a fight he took to court and won, with Hawks head Berning Nthlemeza planning to take the matter on review to the Supreme Court of Appeal.

He was then re-indicted on racketeering charges, with a new prosecution certificate being signed by National Prosecuting Authority head Shaun Abrahams.

The squad’s legal team is expected to file an interlocutory application to have racketeering charges against the team and Booysen set aside.

Read more on:    police  |  durban  |  crime

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