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Speaker notes by the Minister of Police - Three suspects arrested regarding cases of explosives devices in and around Durban

Speaker notes by the Minister of Police, Mr Bheki Cele
SAPS Provincial Head Quarters, Braam Fischer Street, Durban.

5 October 2018


National Commissioner of the South African Police Service
National Head of the DPCI
Members of the media
Ladies and Gentleman

What I am about to announce to you now, I am sure that almost the entire nation have been awaiting in anticipation.

I am sure that every one of you recall the incidents of incendiary devices that were being placed at various places including retail stores in and around the Durban area.

Today, I can proudly say that following a joint multi-disciplinary intensive investigation three main targets have been arrested in connection with the placing and detonating of these devices as well as for other crimes.

Between March and August this year, Durban and surrounding areas were plagued with several incidents of placing and detonating of these devices. In a separate incident that was linked to some of the placing of devices, three men were attacked in May this year at a mosque in Verulam which left one person dead and two others critically wounded.

As the Minister of Police, I visited the Verulam scene and thereafter instructed the National Commissioner and the Head of Hawks to establish a multi-disciplinary team comprising of Crime Intelligence, the Hawks, Forensic experts and the National Prosecuting Authority as well as various other role players from within the criminal Justice Cluster to investigate these cases.

The team has worked and continue to work tirelessly over the past four months and have identified and arrested at least three suspects in various areas of KwaZulu-Natal. I can confirm at this stage that some of these incidents are linked to each other and more arrests are imminent.

Arrested suspects are likely to face charges comprising of murder, contravention of the Explosive Act and arson, among others. Up to this point the team has established extortion as the most likely motive for these incidents. However, as the investigation progresses we cannot rule out the possibility of other motives.

Apart from these incidents having a negative impact on the Grand Economy of Strategy of the State, they have also instilled a great degree of fear in the people of South Africa. Therefore, justice must now take its course.

Three suspects are currently in police custody and they will be brought before court early next week. At this point we would like to appeal to everyone not to release the identities of the suspects until they have appeared in court.

My further appeal is for everyone to allow for the criminal justice process to prevail. I also want to take this opportunity to reassure South Africans that we, as the South African Police Service, will continue to do everything within our constitutional mandate to ensure that people are and feel safe.

We further call on members of the media as well as the general public to ensure that when communicating information around this matter on various platforms, it must be done so with the utmost responsibility.

In conclusion, I want to commend and congratulate the multi-disciplinary team for the sterling work they have done thus far. I have been made aware that this has not been an easy investigation, however, the team prevailed.

Media Enquiries:
Minister’s Spokesperson - Ms Reneilwe Serero – 071 492 0073
Police Spokesperson - Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo – 082 567 4153
Hawks Spokesperson – Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi – 082 373 2408