Police said warrants of arrest have been issued for two suspects released after their initial detainment in connection with a triple murder in Gugulethu, due to technicalities pointed out by the Senior State Prosecutor.
This as Bongani Philipps, a third suspect, appeared at the Athlone Magistrate’s Court on Monday.
The 36-year-old faces murder and attempted murder charges in connection with a shooting at NY 137 on New Year’s Day.
Three people were killed and another seriously wounded when suspects in a vehicle fired shots at the vehicle they were in which was about to drop off someone.
According to police spokesperson Andrè Traut, Philipps was arrested on Saturday in Manenberg after he handed himself over to police.
He said the provincial serious and violent crime detectives had “tightened the net around him.”
The accused was remanded and his case postponed to January 15.
This comes amid concerns at how the case was handled after two other accused, aged 26 and 36, who were arrested on January 3 were set free.
They were meant to appear at the Athlone Magistrate’s Court on Friday.
“The circumstances leading to the murders and attempted murder are still under investigation and the case against the two suspects who have been arrested during last week has not been enrolled at court due to technicalities pointed out by the Senior State Prosecutor.
“This has since been alleviated and warrants for their arrests have been issued. Once arrested, they will join Bongani Philipps in the dock,” said Traut.
Police Oversight and Community Safety MEC Reagen Allen, who had expressed his disappointment when the suspects were sent back to the streets said he noted the third arrest.
He said police cannot have serious cases of such a nature fall through the cracks due to an alleged failure in their duty as families and the public in general deserve better.
“We note that a third suspect handed himself over to the police and made his first court appearance in connection with the triple murder in Gugulethu.
We cautiously welcome this, as a full report into why due process was not followed with the first two suspects is still outstanding.
“It’s important that the outstanding suspects are immediately rearrested, while the necessary remedial steps are instituted where it might be required. SAPS should be a service that acts in a professional manner at all times,” said Allen.