Hawks have ‘strong case’ against cop-killer accused

Two men arrested in connection of the murder of a Cape Town police officer were due to appear in a Somerset West court on Friday.

According to a Directorate for Priority Crimes Investigation (Hawks) statement‚ the “two suspects‚ aged 23 and 24‚ were part of the four individuals who were taken in for questioning on Wednesday“.

The statement did not say give any information on the other two individuals.

Fifty-year-old Warrant Officer Petrus Johannes Holz‚ “who was attached to Hawks’ Commercial Crime Unit‚ was driving to work when his car apparently hit man-made debris on the Cape Town’s N2 highway”‚ the statement said.

“Stopping to inspect the vehicle‚ he was allegedly then attacked and stabbed by two suspects and later succumbed due to his injuries.”

The murder prompted acting hawks dead Major-General Mthandazo Ntlemeza to assemble a task team: “The arrest is an assurance to the general public that we were committed to solve this case.

“I would like to thank the team and Macassar detectives for bringing closure to the Holz family and the deceased’s colleagues.

“We believe we have a strong case against the accused and we will not leave any stone unturned in ensuring such brutality does not happen again‚” said Ntlemeza.

A statement from police minister Nkosinathi Nhleko’s office on Thursday said “the continued slaughter of police officials – with 52 deaths already this year –should be a cause for concern to all law-abiding citizens”.

“Of the 52 officers murdered‚ 24 were killed while on duty and 28 while off duty.”

Nhleko said: “We cannot be a society that watches the slaughter of people who are supposed to be protectors and helpers and do nothing to stop this scourge.”

Earlier on Thursday‚ the Congress of the People (Cope) took the opportunity to take a swipe at Nhleko in the wake of the killing and challenged him “come down from his ivory tower and leave his padded chair” and “to walk the crime-ridden areas with police officers on the ground”.

“The time has come for the minister to defend the police and stop expending his time and energy defending the indefensible that is the runaway expenditure at Nkandla‚” Cope’s Dennis Bloem said.

“The lives of our good police officers and of law abiding people are more valuable than a swimming pool purporting to masquerade as a fire pool that it clearly isn’t.”