Cape Town - The Western Cape’s most wanted criminal has abandoned his right to bail.
Thirty-year-old Yanga Nyalara, known as Bara, considered among the most wanted and dangerous persons in Western Cape, is behind bars.
Heavily armed police officers gathered at the Cape Town Magistrate’s Court on Monday as Nyalara made a brief appearance, with Police Minister Bheki Cele and provincial police commissioner Lieutenant-General Thembisile Patekile in attendance.
Officers in uniform were inside the court, with some outside stationed strategically around the building.
National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila said Nyalara is facing 31 charges which include 19 counts of murder, attempted murders, illegal possession of firearms, illegal possession of ammunition and dealing/ possession of drugs.
The murders includes 13 people aged between 26 and 59 gunned down in a mass shooting in Site B, Khayelithsa last year.
“He abandoned his right to bail and his case was postponed to August 18. More charges are likely to be added as the investigation continues,” said Ntabazalila.
The breakthrough followed an intelligence-driven operation on July 1 which led to his arrest in Bothasig for serious and violent crimes in the province.
Police have been hunting for Nyalara for months and resorted to offering a R50 000 cash reward.
However this yielded no results and the cash reward was escalated to R100 000.
According to police spokesperson Andrè Traut, members of the Operation Restore reacted on information and early on Friday morning conducted a search at a residence in Nassau Street, where the accused suspect and two women aged 21 and 28 were caught.
They were allegedly in possession of tik and mandrax with a combined value of R90 000.
“The male suspect is also wanted on a string of crimes ranging from business robbery and murder to attempted murder, assault, and possession of an unlicensed firearms and ammunition. His identity can only be revealed once he has made a court appearance, together with the two female suspects,” said Traut.