'Hit squad' cops face 71 charges

2012-06-21 12:58

Durban - Twenty former members of the disbanded Durban Organised Crime Unit face 71 charges, including 14 of murder, the Durban Regional Court was told on Thursday.

One of them, Captain Neville Eva, told the court he intended pleading not guilty to all the charges.

Also on the provisional indictment are 14 counts of defeating the ends of justice, and 14 of unlawful possession of weapons and ammunition.

The court was packed for the bail hearings of the 20, who stand accused of being part of a hit squad.

Eva said that when the Sunday Times published an expose alleging the existence of the hit squad, all members of the unit promised the then Independent Complaints Directorate (it has since been renamed the Independent Police Investigative Directorate) that they would co-operate with the investigation.

"Our attitude was to assist the investigation in any way possible."

Eva said the members were ordered to hand in their weapons, laptops and cellphones earlier this year..

They were also instructed not to take on any new cases, but to continue with pending cases.

Eva, a veteran of 27 years, said if they had intended to tamper with evidence, they had had six months in which to do so.

The 20 were arrested on Wednesday in a joint operation by the Hawks and the IPID.

Protesters supporting the 20 men stood outside the court building with placards.

Former national police commissioner Bheki Cele received rousing applause when he entered the public gallery.

There was a heavy police presence inside and outside the building.

People had to stand outside the court in the hallway, because there was insufficient space for supporters and families of the accused.

Magistrate Sharon Marks threatened to have the people removed if they did not keep quiet.

  • jackie.stone.501 - 2012-06-21 13:17

    So Bheki Cele is still revered by the public. There you go news24 readers something to help us divert from the topic

  • richard.hipkin - 2012-06-21 13:33

    We behind this unit 100% - many of us have or know of people who have worked closely with this unit. these charges are outrageous and the truth will prevail.. The "evidence" that the prosecutors have is shady and will be destroyed in court, look forward to it.

      gordon.turner.37 - 2012-06-21 14:04

      I hope you are right. These guys have done some amazing work often in places none of us what to go. I have no doubt the lines get blurred... lets just hope the good don't get washed out with the not so good.

      richard.hipkin - 2012-06-21 14:14

      When Panday tried to bribe Major General Booysen and was turned down and investigated all of a sudden the entire unit is shutdown.. The rot at the top in the cops is disgusting...

      robert.m.sylvester - 2012-06-21 15:03

      These men are great policemen - Disgusting the way they are being treated

  • khethani.nkabinde1 - 2012-06-21 13:39

    Read for yourself...

  • simone.hall.9083 - 2012-06-21 13:46

    corruption at its best. hope they all get what they deserve!

      richard.hipkin - 2012-06-21 14:11

      You ill- informed.

      john.loveland.9 - 2012-06-21 14:42

      @PointBlank... then inform us if you have all the knowledge and background.... But from where most of us stand, what we have read, witnessed and experienced, the entire SAPS seems to be corrupt, top to bottom, and there some serious questions regarding this bunch as well

      robert.m.sylvester - 2012-06-21 15:04

      Simone you are an ignorant ass

      richard.hipkin - 2012-06-21 15:21

  • nkadimeng - 2012-06-21 13:49

    I hope The Hawks do not just want to be seen to be doing something. Otherwise the whole exercise would just be waste of resources

  • erromel - 2012-06-21 13:50

    I said it before and i will say it again: THE PRISONS ARE OVER CROWED...i think "The 20" knew what it means...Use deadly for to End Crime...i wonder why people do not call the SWAT "Hit Squad" too lol hahahaha

  • Mandla - 2012-06-21 13:53

    good on the front , verybad at back day,the way they hide among the criminals same same everything very frghtning .have u ever stand next one of them luckly then someone tell u that one of the hit squad, very cold very cold .

  • Mandla - 2012-06-21 13:54

    good on the front , verybad at back day,the way they hide among the criminals same same everything very frghtning .have u ever stand next one of them luckly then someone tell u that one of the hit squad, very cold very cold .

  • Gavin - 2012-06-21 13:58

    welcome to SA - where the rhinos live in fear and the cops and politicians have sold their souls to satan.

      robert.m.sylvester - 2012-06-21 15:15

      Do you have any balls? This unit has big ones.

      Paulnicomp - 2012-06-21 16:54

      Agreed but it is the cops charging the above cops for doing their jobs to the best of their abilities who have sold their souls to Satan. The issue is the arrest of corrupt individuals who are well connected politically and the whole affair is an attempt to protect these individuals.

  • dennis.vermaak.5 - 2012-06-21 14:17

    Where there is smoke there is Cele to preen !!

      robert.m.sylvester - 2012-06-21 15:14

      Is that your word of "wisdom"

  • gembleton1 - 2012-06-21 14:22

    These boys were very effective in their work (they came from all race groups of SA so forget any racial slurs here) and only the criminals feared them, this is a political witch hunt (but most of SA politicians are criminals) I for one support you boys justice will prevail good luck.

  • max.maxwell - 2012-06-21 14:27

    I think I smell a witch-hunt!

      robert.m.sylvester - 2012-06-21 15:13

      you hit it on the head

  • ntunjab - 2012-06-21 14:31

    Those who are leaving in the townships, surely they know this division. #Dead squad!no 1 is above the law! And I'm expecting 101dislikes

      robert.m.sylvester - 2012-06-21 15:11

      the townships support this unit you dum dum

      richard.hipkin - 2012-06-21 15:22

      ntunjab, the townships are where they go all their info from, the communities were fully supportive of this unit.

  • bheki.khumalo.58 - 2012-06-21 14:44

    Lets not forget that those people who were shot by the DBN crime unit were not just innocent civilians, but fully armed thugs, robbers, taxi-hit squad members who were a danger to the society. Remember the the whole family who was wiped out in one single night in that area. I wish IPID can come out clear if they exist to protect the rights of criminals, because when police are killed in their line of duty all is just well.

      robert.m.sylvester - 2012-06-21 15:12

      You hit the nail right on the head

  • Sakhiwo - 2012-06-21 14:48

    I just wander where's my safety in South Africa.If the squad of organised crime unit is charged for 14 counts of murder?

      robert.m.sylvester - 2012-06-21 15:29

      Your safety is with units like this one Your problem is with the corrupt politicos and spineless police top brass.

  • tracy.g.basson - 2012-06-21 15:08

    How disappointing that police that do their jobs well get arrested for it. Personally I think there are some heavy crime bosses behind this. If a criminal shoots at you he deserves to be shot. In fact, some criminals deserve to be shot for the crimes they have done. That they now have to justify their actions all over again is crazy. If you look at the cases that have been used in their charges they all relate to serial criminals, not once off small time thieves. Lets remember that they only dealt with the worst criminals to start with. This is absolutely crazy. These guys should be hero's and given awards for the work they have done against our horrific crime rate.

      robert.m.sylvester - 2012-06-21 15:32

      You got that right girl.

  • Zimbobwe - 2012-06-21 15:31

    If you break the law be prepared to do the time. It doesn't matter if you were doing your job. This applies to every citizen says the constitution. Innocent people cuold have been killed during the raid. We are not a banana republic.

      richard.hipkin - 2012-06-21 15:43

  • Duane Scott - 2012-06-21 15:41

    i salute all those members,they did exeptional work no matter what anybody says,while we where sleeping at night next to our families where were they?getting rid of the scum that walk our streets.for you idiots that are against them next time you have a accident or get robbed or a family member of yours gets murdered....dont phone the blady police to help you!!!!deal with it yourself and see how far you get!!!!!!!i support them all the way to the end irrespective what happens..they are all heroes!!!

  • flysouth - 2012-06-21 15:50

    What interests me is that there is a large group of citizens who are fully supportive of this unit, which had major successes against violent criminals - why would that be so, if these men are brutal criminals themselves? I suspect there is political maneouvring here against a unit which has had too much success against criminals - and we know that there is great sympathy in the ranks of the ANC, at all levels, for and close associations with many criminals - just witness the 'rousing applause' for Cele - a man already confirmed as involved in criminal acts.

  • gerda.vanrensburg - 2012-06-21 18:27

    I hope they will be all found NOT GUILTY. South Africa needs those policemen helping the victims get rid of the scum and make our streets safer.

  • karen.a.vanvuuren - 2012-06-21 19:05

    I agree with robert sylvester and point blank they are great policemen, one of those accused is a childhood friend of mine.

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