Support for arrested KZN cops

2012-08-23 09:07

Durban - Visitors streamed into the Durban North police station holding cells late on Wednesday evening, bearing bags of fast-food, flasks of coffee, blankets and formal clothes for the arrested police officers to wear at Thursday's court appearance.

Policemen from other units also turned out in droves to show their support for those arrested, including provincial head of the Hawks, Major General Johan Booysen.

While the wives of some of the arrested suspects were seen with blotchy eyes from crying, some of the arrested policemen welcomed the visits from their family and friends. Late in the evening, two of the suspects arrested in Rustenburg and Pretoria joined the ten other suspects who were arrested earlier.

The arrested policemen stood around in the holding cells, speaking to each other and strategised about their appearance in court.


Sipping on coffee in plastic cups, and eating chocolates, many were still shocked over their arrests while some were relieved that they were finally arrested after months of speculation.

Some dressed casually in shorts, track pants and T-shirts while Booysen, was wearing blue formal pants and a blue and white striped shirt.

“We grew up the hard way and are used to spending many nights out on the field waiting for suspects. We just going to pull our blankets over ourselves and find a nice space on the floor,” said one of the officers.

Booysen refused to speak to the media. A source from provincial headquarters who was present at the holding cells questioned Booysen’s arrest saying he (Booysen) had been part of a management team at provincial level who had only received reports of the alleged murders after they had happened. The source, whose details are known to the Witness, but has asked not to be named for fear of reprisal, said Booysen had never been "physically" present at any of the cases that form part of the prosecution’s case against them.

“The question that has to be asked is if Booysen, as the provincial head of the unit, has been arrested, then why have the others - to whom he reported - not also been arrested? They were also equally aware of each and every shooting. Booysen, as the provincial head, was totally oblivious to warrants issued by the officers on the ground,” said the source.

At the time, the provincial commissioner was Hamilton Ngidi.


Earlier, IPID spokesperson Moses Dlamini said the racketeering charges against Booysen related to allegations that he “aided and abetted his guys”.

“He allegedly granted them access to warrants, police equipment and other such things so he knew what they were doing at any given time.

“As leader of the unit at provincial level, he ought to have known that what the unit members were doing was wrong and taken steps thereof,” said Dlamini.

Colonel Rajen Aiyer, the direct commander of the unit at the time, has been eliminated as a suspect as there was no direct evidence linking him to any of the cases, said Dlamini.

“We will also not be using him as a witness,” said Dlamini.

Thursday's bail application is expected to be riveting, with Booysen expected to take the stand. The other 18 accused, all members of the unit, who were arrested in June this year, will appear in the Regional Court on Friday, along with Booysen and the others arrested on Wednesday.

It is expected they will be served with indictments and for the latest charges to be added.

  • richard.hipkin - 2012-08-23 09:20

    God this stinks of influence. Hurry up and start this court case so the truth can come out and those rotten top policemen and politicans this unit were investigating can go rot in jail themselves!!

      SNG62 - 2012-08-23 10:08

      PointBlank, don't you rather mean that the truth can come out & ESTABLISH whether any of the cops are guilty, then speak of sanction? Trial by speculation is a particularly dangerous thing!

      richard.hipkin - 2012-08-23 11:04

      @SNG62, I have friends who have worked with these members. The charges levelled against most of them are unfounded. That is what I mean by the truth will come out... This goes much, much deeper then you think. All the way to the top.

      dave.lester.125 - 2012-08-23 11:12

      PointBlank, see my reply to Chris below. One has to wonder what bearing the truth will hold in court tho. I am sure that those "at the top" will make sure their interests (and identities) are well protected..

      christof.coetzee - 2012-08-23 13:08

      I strongly suggest that all employed, educated and progressive people relocate to the Western Cape.

  • vashika.chimmunchlam - 2012-08-23 09:31

    We expect them to do their jobs eliminating the bad guys and when they do, everyone looks at them like criminals....I being a victim of crime too many times support them. Big Up to u guys.

  • jane.warrington2 - 2012-08-23 09:38

    I don't get it. Why would the general public offer support to crooks?? Or was this just the families bringing food?

      steveroodt - 2012-08-23 09:46

      The general public are helping as these few Police men Helped the public. Need i say more.

      dave.lester.125 - 2012-08-23 09:59

      Jane, maybe the real crooks are now very relieved that their hunters have been locked up...get your facts right or join the ANC.

      Desilusionada - 2012-08-23 10:16

      My first thoughts exactly, Jane. Should one assume that these guys were outside the law, no matter how noble their cause? Or could it be that this is a case of someone getting to close to uncovering some sinister plot, perhaps related to Manguang? Why only KZN, and nowhere similar like Gauteng? Will this all turn out like another Jannie Odendaal and Abel Twala? NOTHING will surprise me in SA any more. Except perhaps Mr Bathplug, sorry showerhead renouncing polygamy............

      nikita.tozamile - 2012-08-23 10:20

      Because they rid the city of scum. I support them too....This is deeper than you think. Those cops did a fine job

      richard.hipkin - 2012-08-23 11:05

      Oh sorry Jane, I didn't realise they were found guilty in a court of law yet.... Oh, wait, it's trial by media... silly me.

      Zahir - 2012-08-23 11:08

      There is some conspiracy here cops go to jails but violent criminals are never arrested

  • nicolas.gombert.16 - 2012-08-23 09:51

    Just another sign of a failed state. These guys (whatever their motives might have been) took the law into their own hands. This cannot be condoned but it does point to a dysfunctional criminal justice system where arrested criminals freely roam the street after a day or two after being released on bail or discharged because of a "lack" of evidence.

      SNG62 - 2012-08-23 10:11

      And you know this to be true? I thought the pending trial was going to determine this? Trial by speculation or by the press are particularly dangerous things.

  • nyaganyaga.ndawonda - 2012-08-23 09:52

    It appears that these policemen killed criminals who killed policemen. Police killings has to stop and someone has to do it.

  • mark.steedman.9 - 2012-08-23 09:55

    @jane.warrington....Please tell me that was said tongue in cheek!!

  • bryan.culross - 2012-08-23 10:03

    What doesn't make sense is that Booysen (provincial head of the Hawks) was arrested whereas Colonel Rajen Aiyer (the direct commander of the unit wasn't) - according to the Dlamini "(Booysen) ought to have known what the unit members were doing". Then surely the same should be said for Aiyer and more particularly because he was their DIRECT commander.

      richard.hipkin - 2012-08-23 11:08

      Spot on... That is why I say this whole thing stinks of political croynism.

  • thomas.obrian.92 - 2012-08-23 10:13

    There seems to be some of you that know exactly what these policeman have done and therefore you have already tried, judged and condemned them as common guilty criminals. Do you know something that the courts do not?

  • pieter0827006294 - 2012-08-23 10:30

    I would love to hear the real truth behind this thing. Sounds like a good Hollywood movie.

  • vashika.chimmunchlam - 2012-08-23 10:49

    Personally I know none of the above but wish they had been assigned to 2 house breakings we had in a space of 3 months apart, we had given the I/O the suspect/s in their plate and yet till today we still have never heard from the I/O. In our last breaking, my 3 year old was in the house with the maid and tied up. Would there have been more interest if my child was murdered. Im sick of the people that get away with crime cos police negligence. These people took out the scum that was polluting our streets.

  • Zahir - 2012-08-23 11:04

    govt is only going to arrest cops then what about serious criminals like hijakers, atm bombers who get to walk streets and do violent crimes

  • matthew.ovendale.3 - 2012-08-23 12:08

    All the best to those fine men that have so long protected us using what little assistance is granted to them. It is time to stop using the police as political scape goats, they do a hellishly hard job putting their lives on the line day after day for very little appreciation and understanding from those they serve.

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