Third suspect in 9-year-old KZN girl's murder still at large – Cele tells Chatsworth community

2018-06-15 17:57

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#OurLostChildren: Remembering Sadia Sukhraj - killed in botched hijacking

2018-06-15 12:41

At Everest Primary School in Shallcross, which Sadia Sukhraj attended, her teachers and classmates are still grappling with the 9-year-old's death in a botched hijacking. Watch.WATCH

The third suspect in the murder of nine-year-old Sadia Sukhraj has not been arrested almost three weeks after her murder, Police Minister Bheki Cele said on Friday.

"The reason for the delay is that criminals cover up for each other. The person that gave us the information has been moving us from pillar to post even on the question of addresses. But I'm sure that we will be able to reprimand the guy and put him in jail," he told journalists.

Cele was in Chatsworth to give the community feedback on the demands they made following the fatal shooting of the little girl during a botched hijacking in Shallcross on May 28.

When he visited the area two weeks ago, he promised the community that they would arrest the suspect soon because they had identified him.

He had described him as a hardened criminal. He said all the assailants in Sukhraj's murder had a history of criminal activities.

Sibonelo Mkhize, 32, appeared in the Durban Magistrate's Court two weeks ago for Sukhraj's murder and was being held in custody until July 18 for his bail application.

Another man died during a shootout on the same day of Sukhraj's fatal shooting.

Cele, who had promised to return to the area after 14 days, told the Chatsworth community on Friday that their local police station was short of 12 police cars.

The residents had gathered at the Nelson Mandela Chatsworth Youth Centre, to hear what he had to say.

He promised that his department would provide the station with 11 cars before the end of August.

He also promised to look into the problem of shortage of manpower at the station.

The station is short of 16 police officers, he said.

Community members had earlier complained that corrupt policemen and drug dealers contributed to the escalating crime rate in the area.

The minister urged the community to forward names of corrupt policemen so that his department could deal with them.

"We will do our bit to clean the organisation," he said.

He said he could not deny that some of the police needed to be "washed out".

'But many of us are good," he said.

Cele said the visibility of police would be increased in the area, adding that they would work with Durban Metro police to ensure police visibility in the area.

On the recent scourge of deadly cash-in-transit heist in the country, Cele said they had "shut them down" because they had managed to arrest the "kingpins" in the past two weeks.

He added that almost 25 perpetrators of such crimes had been arrested.

"What is more encouraging is that we have been encountering them on the scene of crime," said Cele.

He said in the last three botched heists police had arrived at the scene before the criminals.

"In the last three (heists) we were ahead of them which means we beginning to do things in a correct way. We found them before they hit cars... we've put more effort on the work on such matters," he said.

On the recent mosque attacks, Cele said they had not made any link to the Malmesbury Mosque attack in Cape town on Thursday and the attack at the Verulam mosque in KwaZulu-Natal five weeks ago.

"But we are not ruling out any link," he said.

Two people died during the attack on the Malmesbury mosque and the attacker was also shot dead by police.

He said they were still pursuing the Verulam matter. One person died when three knife-wielding men attacked the mosque in Verulam.

"It is quite a complicated case. As South African police we are not going to surrender and come back and report that we can't find the perpetrators. We will make sure that one day they are brought to book," he said.

Read more on:    sadia sukhraj  |  durban  |  crime
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