Former KwaZulu-Natal Hawks boss Johan Booysen and members of the Cato Manor special investigating unit outside the Durban High Court on Wednesday. File photo: African News Agency (ANA).
Their seven-year-long ordeal has ended, and now members of what was termed the Cato Manor “death squad” are preparing to sue the State.

Following the withdrawal of charges, including racketeering and murder, against the former members of the Cato Manor Organised Crime Unit in the Durban High Court on Wednesday, ex-lieutenant Willie Olivier said he and the others were “definitely” going to pursue legal action.

However, Olivier said they had not yet met to plan for their civil case: “We are going to (sue the State) but we must first have a meeting to decide the way forward.”

A decision on the amount of damages they would seek had to be reached, and discussions with legal counsel held. “It (amount of damages) depends on the civil lawyer who is going to handle our case,” said Olivier.

On Saturday, the group gathered to bid farewell to former fellow unit member Ajith Ghaness, who died of organ failure on Wednesday shortly after hearing the charges had been withdrawn. 

Ghaness was the fourth ex-member of the unit to have died. The others were Captain Neville Eva, Lieutenant Mhlabunzima Thabethe and Captain Vincent Auerbach.

Eighteen detectives from the unit were arrested and 116 charges were brought against them in 2012.

Sunday Tribune