Notorious suspects denied bail, death threats for Rusa officers

2016-04-14 06:00

AN armed robber who was shot by Reaction Unit South Africa (Rusa) head, Prem Balram on Thursday, February 25, was denied bail in the Verulam Magistrate’s Court last Wednesday, 6 April.

His three accomplices, who were arrested during a house robbery in Verulam, were also denied bail and the four men were remanded in custody by police after Verulam SAPS detectives opposed bail for each of the men; forcing them to return to Westville Prison where they will stay until a trial date has been finalised.

According to Balram, the shot suspect is widely considered as “notorious in KwaZulu-Natal”. He was shot in the face and chest by Balram during a shootout in Verulam. Police have linked the well-known suspect to various violent crimes across the North Coast region and KZN province.

Balram came under heavy fire as the armed robbers attempted to flee the scene and received back-up from Rusa officers and police, who managed to corner two of them.

Balram said the madness and mayhem on the day of the gun-battle has been stressful, but memorable.

“Since that dramatic day, reaction officers have received a barrage of death threats. The shot suspect also lost his eye due to the severity on the injuries that he sustained. It is apparent that the reaction officers are coming under threat because they busted this syndicate and also because their leader was maimed in the process,” he said.

Balram added that three of the suspects were arrested on the scene, while the fourth was arrested a few days later.

“The death threats have been coming in fast and furiously, with the shot suspect making a point of informing police while he was still in hospital that he will exact his revenge on the officer who shot him,” said Balram.

He went on to say that he is pleased that the matter is following due process and hopes justice will prevail when the men are tried later this year.

“Unfortunately, death threats are par for the course in our line of duty; it is an occupational hazard that cannot be avoided. Ultimately, our goal on duty is to ensure that crime is curbed and criminals are busted. If we are able to accomplish those tasks, our job is worthwhile. We do remain on high alert in the face of the death threats, but this will not deter us from protecting the community as we have pledged to do so,” he added.

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