Hawks accused of 'blocking' Bazooka murder probe
Johannesburg - The Radebe family and Amadiba Crisis Committee (ACC) on Thursday accused the Hawks of stifling the investigation into the murder of Sikhosiphi Radebe alias "Bazooka" and demanded that the National Prosecution Authority (NPA) intervene on their behalf.
The family together with ACC lawyers have already sent a letter to NPA head Shaun Abrahams asking him to "take charge".
They jointly allege that the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) in Eastern Cape have for two years "blocked" any investigations into Bazooka's murder.
ACC Spokesperson Nonhle Mbuthuma said Bazooka, was shot dead outside his house in Lurholweni Township in Mbizana, Eastern Cape. The murder occurred in March 2016.
“The assailants came in a hijacked car with two tourists inside, one in the boot and one in the back seat, saying they were police officers. Radebe did not believe them. He always advised us: 'Never let them take you. They must shoot you where you stand'. Following his own advice, he refused to be kidnapped,” said Mbuthuma.
Bazooka was shot several times after putting up a fierce fight. The assailants were trying to push him into the VW Polo, which was later found abandoned south of Shelley Beach with the two tourists still inside.
Mbuthuma claimed that when the Hawks took over the investigation they tried to stop forensic specialists - appointed by the Radebe family - from participating in the autopsy at the morgue in Bizana.
“When the family’s ballistic expert and lawyers came on March 30 to the Port Shepstone garage of SAPS [SA Police Service], they found that the hijacked car had been turned back to the family less than 48 hours after the murder and no longer available for forensic investigation,” said Mbuthuma.
Mbuthuma said the Radebe family and the ACC leaders decided to hire a private investigator.
Asked to comment on the matter NPA spokesperson Luxolo Tyali on Thursday said "we haven't received any formal request" to intervene, besides "we do not investigate crime ... the Hawks should investigate this matter".
Denying that the Hawks have "blocked" the murder probe, spokeperson, Anelisa Feni said: "The murder of Mr Radebe is still under investigation. Unfortunately we cannot divulge any further information at this stage since the matter is still under investigation. We are in contact with the family representative for the family of the deceased".
Feni said the family was being kept informed with regards to the progress of the investigation.
African News Agency/ANA