Four people – including a police officer – have been arrested in connection with murders at the Glebelands Hostel.
Police spokesperson Brigadier Jay Naicker said in a statement that on Wednesday, officers from the Provincial Organised Crime Task Team, Special Task Force, Provincial Tracking Team, National Intervention Unit, Counter Intelligence, Umhlali K9, Empangeni K9, and Operational Command Centre conducted co-ordinated predawn raids at Harding and Glebelands Hostel for wanted suspects.
“The teams split into two groups, and one group proceeded to Harding at KwaMachi where they arrested a 29-year-old suspect. The second team went to Block 51 in Glebelands Hostel where they arrested a 45-year-old suspect. A team also went to Block 43 where they arrested a 34-year-old suspect.”
He said that during a search of the room of the 34-year-suspect, a police cap, two police reflector jackets, a state-issued laptop as well as a number of internal police correspondences were seized.
“On Thursday, at 6am, a team proceeded to the Durban Central Police Station where they arrested a 37-year-old police officer who is also linked to the shootings in Glebelands. The arrested men will be charged accordingly and will appear in court soon.”
He said in the statement that the hostel had been marred by incidents of violent crimes which included murders and attempted murders.
Initial investigations revealed that a lot of the killings were orchestrated in an organised fashion.
“It then became very apparent to police management that a different approaches had to be employed in dealing with the situation. Provincial Organised Unit investigators together with crime intelligence embarked on many months of tedious investigation, hostel infiltration and information gathering in trying to get to those responsible for the atrocities at the hostel.”
Naicker said that investigators encountered countless difficulties in trying to untangle the web surrounding the murders there.
“Whilst trying to gather evidence police encountered a number of obstacles which included inter alia reluctant witnesses, missing witnesses, witnesses being killed as well as negative perceptions from different sectors of the communities and information being discussed on various public platforms which (allowed) the suspects to keep one step ahead of police.”
Acting Provincial Commissioner of KwaZulu-Natal, Major General Bheki Langa welcomed the arrest of the four men.
“Our detectives have been working very hard to bring down those behind the killings and to ensure our investigations meet up to the high standard that is expected by our courts.”