5 suspects go free after procedure not followed

By Drum Digital
19 August 2015

The five were arrested on Saturday afternoon and were found in possession of four firearms including an R4 rifle.

Five suspects, who were arrested for the unlawful possession of firearms in Vereeniging, south of Johannesburg, were released because a Hawks team did not follow procedure, it said on Tuesday.

"It appears that the team, which had done fantastic work in apprehending the suspects, for some reason did not follow through by ensuring that the suspects were charged and presented before court within 48 hours, as required by law,"  spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said.

They were supposed to have been charged and to have appeared in the Vereeniging Magistrate's Court on Tuesday afternoon.

Acting Hawks head Major General Mthandazo Ntlemeza said that the management of the Hawks viewed the incident as a serious matter and he had ordered an internal investigation to be instituted.

"We are currently working extremely hard to rectify this matter. We are confident that in the end, justice will be served and the individuals we had arrested will be brought before the courts," Ntlemeza said.

"We are responsible for the safety of all people living in our country; what happened is unacceptable and we will do all in our power to ensure it never happens again."

Source: News24

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