The Citizen (Gauteng)

Murray and son murders point to hits linked to graft

- Marizka Coetzer

Many questions have arisen following the murders of the prominent liquidator Cloete Murray and his son over the weekend in Midrand.

Murray and his son, Thomas, who worked on high-profile cases such as the controvers­ial facilities management company Bosasa and Gupta matters, were ambushed by gunmen on the N1 in Midrand on Saturday.

There is speculatio­n that the murders were linked to one of the cases Murray had worked on.

Gauteng police spokespers­on Dimakatso Sello said police were investigat­ing two counts of murder.

“The circumstan­ces that led to the incident are unknown at this stage,” she said.

Chad Thomas from IRS Forensic Investigat­ions described the murders as horrific.

“South Africa is beset by murders of people from all walks of life. Many innocent lives have also been lost in the crossfire in political, taxi, zama zama and gang-related murders,” he said.

Thomas said more and more whistle-blowers and law enforcemen­t officials were being gunned down.

“Remember those that have had their lives snuffed out by murderers: Charl Kinnear, Babita Deokaran, AKA, the Murrays, Marumo Eric Phenya, DJ Sumbody, Wendy Kloppers and many more,” he said.

Criminolog­ist at the University of Limpopo Prof Jaco Barkhuizen said there had been a spike in the murders of prominent people in the past few months.

“What that shows us is that police intelligen­ce is ineffectiv­e in picking up threats to the lives of prominent people.

“It also shows those under investigat­ion had access and resources to hire people to murder others,” he said.

Barkhuizen said for a government that always talks about whistle-blowers and protecting those who uncover corruption, something like this showed there was no political will to protect. “It could be politician­s and high-ranking police could be involved. The biggest worry is we don’t know,” he said.

Barkhuizen said police should prioritise these murder cases, especially when the victims had been dealing with high-level corruption cases.

Political analyst Khanya Vilakazi said the lawlessnes­s that has overtaken the country is astounding. “It has gone beyond what was deemed normal realms of people who get murdered, as in the taxi industry or the political sphere. Now, it has gone down to the level of people working in the sphere where exposing wrongdoing­s would get them killed,” he said. “As much as this is not an isolated incident, the work they did would continue beyond their grave. Can you imagine in a developing country such as SA that somebody can be shot on the N1 and there was no police to pursue the suspects?” he said.

Action Society founder Ian Cameron said the murders were tragic. “This is becoming a very dangerous reality in South Africa and far more prominent,” he said.

Cameron said in the past, political murders and hits happened here and there, but it was now happening daily.

“It is interestin­g that it is happening more as the ANC is exposed. The more ANC and corrupt dealings are exposed, the more people are murdered,” he said.

Cameron said it was a worrying trend because it meant whistle-blowers and liquidator­s, lawyers and investigat­ors were in danger. “The more of a threat you are to corrupt individual­s’ income, the more chances of your life being in danger.”

Intelligen­ce is ineffectiv­e in picking up threats to prominent people

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa