Durban - The sons of one of the so-called Cato Manor 'death squad' police officers have broken their silence following the Sunday Times apology over a series of stories its investigations unit wrote including one that alleged a police unit in Durban was running a death squad.
Ashton and Dale Eva, the son's of Captain Neville Eva - who died in 2012 without having the opportunity to clear his name - have spoken about the heartache and their personal anger of seeing their father arrested and facing trial over allegations that he was part of the Cato Manor death squad.
Their open letter to the Sunday Times was originally published on the Facebook page of the supporters of the Durban Organised Crime Unit KZN.
This is the edited version of Dale Eva's story.
OPINION - Let me attempt to summarise six years of mental and emotional torture into one article for those who are reading this.
Those who are family members of law enforcement officers might be able to relate.
I think it's a fair assumption to say that every single person has had a favourite superhero at some stage in their lives.
Regardless of whether that superhero shot webs out of his hands or flew in the sky, the story would always end by the superhero saving the day, and the people believing the world was a safer place with them around.
I had the opportunity to be raised by such a man, one who had saved lives and is seen as a hero by the victims and family members of the people whose lives he had saved and changed, and who believed they were safe knowing that there are police officers out there such as the members of the Cato Manor Durban Organised Crime Unit and in particular my father that didn't stop until those responsible for the most gruesome of crimes would have justice served to them.
Take that away, what happens?
The criminals that are murdering, and raping the people you care about do it without second guessing whether or not they will get away with the crime, there's no fear of repercussion to those who are responsible without these heroes.
I saw my father work days with no sleep in order to save lives, and then get accused of being a member of death squad unit as a "thank you" for that, is not an easy a task to deal with.
It hits you emotionally in ways not many people can understand.
My father made sacrifices for our family every day, and for the public.
He sacrificed his life every time he went to catch the people who you read about in the news and think to yourself "how can someone do that to another person"... nice, thank you!
Newspapers and in particular journalists who got fed news that the country had a death squad on their hands, failed to investigate, failed to follow the audi alterampartem rule that criminal investigators are obliged to follow.
To let the other side be heard means to investigate the accusations and find out if it's true before you post nonsense into the media!
You have unethical people who with these allegations changed everything... who are responsible for affecting my life, who are responsible for the death of my father and other members of the unit and even family members of the unit.
I was 15 years old when I walked outside of my house one morning with my mother and brother to find about 12 heavily armed officers surrounding our house and blocking off access to our road.
They were searching for my father so they could arrest him. Let me add that they were following orders so I don't blame them at all for that, they were doing their job, but I do blame them for ransacking our house and threatening my mother as she tried to protect us and I blame their superiors who failed to tell them the Cato Manor Unit were ready to hand themselves over and were at their offices in Victoria Embankment.
It was an absolute show of force and intimidation for the media and they took great delight in causing terror and embarrassment to all the families.
I was stopped from leaving the house and did not make my mid-year exam at school that day.
Our fathers/husbands/friends were waiting to hand themselves over with their attorneys and they were willing to go freely without any hassle, again that's a testament to these heroes', even though they knew these allegations are going to affect their reputations and more importantly were 100% false.
Again like on so many occasions they were putting their well-being and comfort of others before themselves.
Sometimes I think those responsible for these allegations went out their way to make our lives hell.
I would like to personally thank the Sunday Times for finally posting the truth, it only took you six years to admit something that many people already knew from day one and that was that you were wrong.
To the editor of the newspaper: the fact that you were brave enough to step up and tell the truth knowing that there are a lot of big and powerful people who are not going to be happy that you aren't afraid of them is something I'm eternally grateful for.
Those who got rewards and collected money as "gifts" and even promotions, You are responsible for murder.
The fact that you didn't have a physical object to take away lives is the only reason you aren't seen as a murderer.
Have that on your conscience for the rest of your lives.
To the families and people that haven't second-guessed the legality at any stage of the heroic acts that these heroes did to save our lives, I personally thank you for your gracious support.
The fight is not over yet and as my dad used to say lets "bite the bullet" and keep persevering that the courts will finally see the truth.