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While former police commissioner Bheki Cele was sitting at court supporting the 20 members of the Durban Organised Crime, the ANC issued a statement welcoming the arrests of the men he was there to support.
Cele, recently fired from his job as national police commissioner, is in the process of being redeployed within the ANC.
He was greeted by cheers when he entered the court. His spokesman said he was there to support the men from the unit.
The ANC statement read: “(We welcome) the arrest of police officers who face a string of serious charges including murder and defeating the ends of justice.
“According to media reports, 20 police officers who were arrested on Thursday, are accused of operating as a ‘death squad’ by allegedly executing suspects involved in serious cases.
“The ANC believes that the arrest sets a precedent that even those who are mandated to enforce the law, should not abuse their authority.
“As an organisation that promotes the rule of law, we strongly believe that the law should take its course.
The arrest of the police officers was also welcomed by Willies Mchunu, the KZN MEC for Community Safety, Liaison and Transport who expressed confidence on the investigation conducted by the Hawks.
“Even police themselves are not above the law. Those suspected of wrong doing must face the full might of the law.
“We are confident that these developments will restore trust to the community on our policing system.”
“Like all citizens police must answer in the court of law if any allegations are levelled against them. This also sends a clear message to all those members that any wrong doing wont be tolerated,” said Mchunu.
He said that the work of the police in Cato Manor and surrounding areas would not be compromised by the arrest of the 20 police officers.