Minister of Police Bheki Cele addressing media on the progress of KZN Political Killings at Durban Police head quarters. Picture: Sibonelo Ngcobo/African News Agency(ANA)

Durban - Police minister Bheki Cele praised the efforts of a specialised task team which was set up to investigate political murders in KwaZulu-Natal. Speaking at the KZN police headquarters on Thursday, Cele said since the announcement of the task team in July, 28 suspects had been arrested. 

"Of those arrested, 22 remain in police custody, four have been released following further investigations and two are out on bail," he said. 

Cele said 126 rounds of ammunition, eight 9mm pistols, eight magazines and a revolver have been recovered during the arrests. 

"While we consider these successes to be very significant it is even more encouraging to note that from 20 finalised dockets thus far, three cases have been finalised within a period of three months. Over and above the allocated political related cases, the task team is conducting intelligence-driven operations which have led to 30 arrested suspects on 30 cases and 21 firearms were recovered. In relation to the above cases 26 dockets are before the Courts and 4 are under investigation," he said. 

Cele added that a total of 22 case dockets not related to the task team mandate but linked with allocated political related cases are taken by the Task Team for parallel investigations. These two categories of cases, Cele said, are also allocated to the task team to ensure centralised investigation and prosecution. 

At Cele's last media briefing in July, he said the task team had a total of 126 case dockets allocated, which had since increased to 137. He said the increase was because some cases had not been initially been referred to the task team. 

"Investigations of these case dockets are indeed showing significant progress. The continuous Prosecutorial Guided Investigations (PGI), engagements between prosecutors and investigators are yielding positive results in the ongoing investigations. It must be noted that this kind of PGI was lacking in the previous task team," he said. 

Cele said some of the case dockets were in the final stages of investigation and others were before the courts. 

Daily News