Pretoria - The family of murdered North West businessman Wandile Bozwana said they believed the case was being moved to the Hawks as a bid to protect high-ranking individuals.
They allege the case was also moved as a result of political interference.
The Hawks, however, have denied this, saying they took on the case due to the nature of the crime.
But Bozwana's brother and family spokesperson Benedict told News24 that they were happy with the work of the police team who had been handling the case so far. The team had recently had a breakthrough when a prominent businessman, who was arrested for other serious crimes, was also linked to the Bozwana murder.
“As a family we are ... delighted that at least there is a good outcome out of this whole thing but we are just perturbed about the fact that it looks like there is an element of [interference] from top politicians in this case,” he said.
He said the family was told that there was an instruction "from above" that the docket must be handed over to the Hawks.
“We were just told that the docket must be handed over from the current investigators who have ... done 80% of the job correctly and successfully.”
Bozwana died in hospital after being ambushed in what is believed to be a hit in October 2015.
Police said the Clio driven by Bozwana’s female companion was stationary at the traffic light on the N1 Garsfontein off-ramp when a BMW M3 pulled up next to them. A man jumped out and started pumping a hail of bullets at the businessman. He jumped back into the BMW, which sped off.
Bozwana, 43, was hit by at least nine bullets. His companion, who was hit by two, survived the attack.
Two men were arrested in 2015 in connection with the murder. When arrested, the men were found in possession of firearms as well as ammunition. They were also charged for being in possession of a suspected stolen vehicle.
They were also found in possession of jammers and were charged for contravening the Electronic Communications Act, which makes the possession of the unlicensed devices illegal. They faced charges of murder, attempted murder, and possession of a stolen vehicle.
They appeared in court in December where the matter was postponed to February 17 for further police investigation.
Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi told News24 that “a person of interest” was brought to them on Friday. He said the man, a prominent businessman, was not initially wanted in connection with the murder but investigations revealed he had a hand in the crime.
“This person was wanted for other cases not related to Bozwana and those are the charges he has been incarcerated with now. Our investigations are linking him to the Bozwana case however we are still busy with the ... investigations to formalise everything,” said Mulaudzi.
A source close to the investigation told News24 that the businessman allegedly acquired the services of the gunman and orchestrated the hit. He was the alleged mastermind.
“It is not known why but all that will be revealed when he appears in court on Tuesday,” said the source.
Despite expressing satisfaction regarding the arrest, the family maintained that the transfer of the docket did not sit well with them.
However, Mulaudzi said,“The Hawks are investigating Bozwana’s case because of the nature of the execution of the incident. We could see that it was in an organised fashion. It has now been brought to us. We only got it last week and the people in the organised crime [unit] are looking at it.
Mulaudzi added that the Hawks would be working with the previous team.
“The previous team that was working on this case is still part of it but it is now being run from the Hawks office,” he said.