Durban – MORE than five people, including a police officer stationed at Wentworth police station, are in the accused dock in a case of conspiracy to commit murder in Wentworth.
In recent weeks, police officers have arrested a number of men linked to the continuous violence tormenting the Wentworth community.
Last Friday, Warrant Officer Brian James stationed at Wentworth police station was arrested for conspiracy to commit murder. Police spokesperson Brigadier Jay Naicker said the officer, 49, appeared in the Durban Magistrate’s Court and was remanded until September 23.
Jasmin (Moni) Simon, Kyle (Para) Pretorius, Tyrel Martin, Chad Marais, Mthandeni Masilva Khoza and Trese (Mini) Pretorius were arrested in August for the same case. Simon was released on bail. James would be added to this case as a co-accused.
Earlier this month, Provincial Organised Crime Unit and Crime Intelligence officers arrested a further two suspects, aged 21 and 38, in the same matter. Their case was joined with that of the others. They are in custody.
The conspiracy to commit murder case emanates from an incident on July 10, when two men were shot on Gulmal Crescent in Wentworth.
One died in hospital; the other was wounded. Cases of murder and attempted murder were opened at Wentworth SAPS.
Police found that Martin and Pretorius were out on parole when the murder was committed.
Pretorius had also been linked to an attempted murder case on March 15 on Tifflin Road, where a man and a woman were shot and injured.
Meanwhile, Wentworth community activist Desmond D’Sa claimed there was a lot of corruption among Wentworth police officers.
He said they were happy to see that a task team had been established for all the special investigations.
“We’re hoping that a lot more can happen. A lot more of the ‘untouchables’, I call them, whether they are police officers or people in gangs, using drugs or guns I think we’ll be seeing many more of them arrested,” he said.
Things were changing in Wentworth and they wanted the Department of Justice to do its work, he said.
KwaZulu-Natal Violence Monitor Mary de Haas said there had been complaints about Wentworth police for years.
One of the reasons people called for an outside task team was because they were fed up, she said.
When there was drug dealing – part of a long-standing problem in Wentworth – people were being bought off.
“There’s so much money in organised crime and drug dealing that you can buy off police quite easily. Police have told me this themselves.
“If they want to investigate, one of the problems is that their police might be part of the problem and they may not get anywhere because of that,” De Haas said.