Ar­rest of cop hailed by Um­lazi hos­tel res­i­dents

The Herald (South Africa) - - NEWS - Nathi Oli­fant‚ Jeff Wicks and Matthew Sa­vides

RES­I­DENTS of Gle­be­lands Hos­tel in Dur­ban have wel­comed the ar­rest of a po­lice of­fi­cer linked to as­sas­si­na­tions at the vi­o­lence-rid­dled precinct.

At least 90 peo­ple have been killed in the last two years in vi­o­lence linked to clashes at the hos­tel‚ with res­i­dents long hav­ing com­plained – in­clud­ing un­der oath at the Mo­er­ane Com­mis­sion into po­lit­i­cal killings in KwaZulu-Natal – that po­lice were in­volved.

The 37-year-old of­fi­cer was among five men ar­rested in a raid by cops on Wed­nes­day and yes­ter­day.

The de­tec­tive con­sta­ble was taken into cus­tody at the Dur­ban Cen­tral po­lice sta­tion where he works.

He can­not be iden­ti­fied un­til he ap­pears in court‚ likely to be to­day.

Po­lice spokesman Bri­gadier Jay Naicker said crime in­tel­li­gence op­er­a­tives had spent months gath­er­ing ev­i­dence. “Co­or­di­nated predawn raids were con­ducted in Hard­ing and the hos­tel for wanted sus­pects‚” he said.

A man was ar­rested in Hard­ing‚ while a sec­ond was ar­rested in Gle­be­lands’ Block 51.

“A team also went to Block 42 where they ar­rested a 34-year-old sus­pect. Dur­ing a search of his room‚ a po­lice cap‚ two po­lice re­flec­tor jack­ets‚ a state-is­sued lap­top as well as a num­ber of in­ter­nal po­lice cor­re­spon­dences were seized‚” Naicker said.

Also yes­ter­day‚ a 28-year-old man – the fifth ar­rest – was taken into cus­tody at the Um­lazi Mag­is­trate’s Court.

The man was pre­vi­ously ar­rested for a mur­der at the Gle­be­lands Hos­tel and was granted bail yes­ter­day.

How­ever‚ he was ar­rested af­ter­wards “as a war­rant was is­sued on an at­tempted mur­der”‚ Naicker said.

One res­i­dent‚ who spoke on con­di­tion of anonymity‚ said the ar­rests were a step in the right di­rec­tion.

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