KwaZulu-Natal Hawks head Johan Booysen was released on R5 000 bail. He was arrested on a racketeering charge relating to the alleged death squad killings of the now-disbanded Cato Manor serious and violent crime unit. Picture: PURI DEVJEE 230812

Durban - Supporters of suspended KwaZulu-Natal Hawks head Major-General Johan Booysen gathered in the Durban High Court on Friday where the award-winning officer is applying to have racketeering charges against him dropped.

Those present included members of the now disbanded Cato Ridge serious and violent crimes unit - who were arrested, along with Booysen, on charges of murdering 29 suspects and placing firearms next to their bodies to make it appear the shootings were legal.

According to the indictment, he allegedly ran an operation with his men carrying out hits.

Booysen contends in his court papers that there is no evidence in the docket to support the racketeering charges.

Anton Katz SC, for Booysen, will be arguing that the racketeering charges are irrational, and the decision was invalid and unconstitutional.

Among the first supporters to arrive was Penny Katz (no relation to Anton Katz), the administrator of the Durban organised crimes unit, which was the previous name for the serious and violent crimes unit, which has 13,371 Facebook supporters.

Booysen has won several awards during his lengthy police service, including one from Interpol. - Sapa