If there’s something strange ... cops call 40 ghostbusters

2014-11-04 15:15

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Being called on to investigate noises after dark is all part of a cop’s lot, but some officers are specially trained to look into things that really do go bump in the night.

In a written parliamentary reply today, Police Minister Nkosinathi Nhleko said there were 40 detectives within the South African Police Service who had “received additional training relating to occult-related crimes”.

These included activities, spiritual practices or rituals “which draw on forces hidden from normal human senses, beyond the obvious physical realm” and which led to criminal activities that broke the country’s laws.

Nhleko said the SAPS did not have a dedicated occult crimes unit.

Investigations in this category included muti-related offences, the illegal initiation industry, dangerous cult movements and protecting people who are being persecuted due to their alternative belief systems.

Another area in which the 40 officers operated was in “assisting [police] investigators who feel intimidated due to the nature of ‘strange’ cases”.

Nhleko’s reply was tabled four days after Halloween. The question was posed by Democratic Alliance MP Dianne Kohler Barnard.

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