An advocate representing the four men linked to the murder of rapper Kiernan “AKA” Forbes, has slammed police for how they’ve handled the matter of their arrest.
The men have been in police custody since Sunday and have only seen their legal representative for the first time on Wednesday.
Speaking to IOL moments before boarding her flight back to Johannesburg, advocate Annelene van den Heever said her clients’ rights had been violated after they failed to appear in the Durban Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday.
“This is a violation of their rights. It exceeded the maximum 48 hours,” she said, adding that she would approach the high court if the suspects did not appear on Thursday.
According to the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development website: “Normally after arrest the accused must be brought before a court within 48 hours and he or she may then apply to be released on warning or bail if the case is not finalised on that day.”
Van den Heever, who represented the likes of ex-Eskom executive Anoj Singh, Czech fugitive Radovan Krejcir and self-proclaimed prophet Shepherd Bushiri, confirmed her four clients were arrested on Sunday morning and travelled to Durban without knowing what they were arrested for.
She added that she would approach to the High Court if necessary.
Van den Heever who also represented convicted terror twins, Brandon-Lee and Tony-Lee Thulsie, said her clients were not allowed to speak to their families or lawyers after they were arrested.
“When an attorney, on our instruction went to the Cape Town police station, they were told the men were not there – this was a lie.
“They were transported sometime on Tuesday and arrived in Durban at 5am (Wednesday). If you work out the 48 hours, it was basically over yesterday (Tuesday) already,” she explained.
Van den Heever said she had spent time trying to get police to bring the men to court but they refused.
She said the four had not been charged as yet.
“Police have leaked information about them being arrested for AKA’s murder, but they are saying nothing to us. My clients don’t know what is going on,” she said.
On Sunday, the Sunday Tribune reported that police had taken three men and later two more men into custody as part of an ongoing investigation into AKA and Tebello “Tibz” Motsoane’s murders in Durban on February 10.
However, Van Heever confirmed that four men had been arrested.
Meanwhile, police have asked for patience from the public as investigations continue.
“Although police understand that the matter attracted media attention and that the public awaits with bated breath any developments, police are calling upon the media and everyone else to refrain from making reports that have the potential of jeopardising ongoing investigations. Such reports also have a potential of putting at risk the lives of the people purported to have been arrested as well as endangering the lives of individuals who are portrayed as police officers in photographs and videos which have been doing the rounds on certain websites and social media platforms,” said KwaZulu-Natal spokesperson, Colonel Robert Netshiunda.
He said police were appealing for space and time to investigate the matter without undue pressure and unwarranted scrutiny from armchair investigators, analysts and faceless so-called sources who are claiming to be closer to the investigations.
“Police are duty-bound to keep the victims’ families abreast about any developments in the investigations. These irresponsible reporting rub salt into the fresh wounds of the family members who have put their faith on law-enforcement to bring perpetrators to book and for justice to prevail.
Investigations into the murders are ongoing and police will keep the public updated as and when there is any breakthrough or development worth communicating about,“ Netshiunda said.
This is a developing story.