Cops suspected of shielding gangsters

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Johannesburg - An investigation on whether police officers and a prosecutor have been shielding seven men accused of violence and murder in the Vaal was underway, the Hawks said on Sunday.

Spokesman Paul Ramaloko said the men, from the Vaal Wits Taxi Association, were arrested on different occasions during December in connection with taxi violence in the area.

The cases were never investigated, Ramaloko said.

The violence resulted in the deaths of two taxi bosses and a 15-year-old.

Ramaloko said it is believed that the men were being shielded by a prosecutor and a number of police officers from being arrested.

“When the Hawks took over the case we noticed that a number of the cases were never resolved,” Ramaloko said.

A man believed to be the kingpin was the first to be arrested.

“After the kingpin's arrest, three men were also arrested for trying to assassinate witnesses.”

Ramaloko said a vehicle and a firearm used to commit the murders were recovered. The gun has been sent for ballistic testing.

Three of the seven men were charged with taxi violence, murder and attempted murder.

The investigation continued, Ramaloko said.

Four of them were expected to appear in the Sebokeng Magistrates Court on January 14.

The other three were expected to appear in the same court on January 16. - Sapa


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