Nineteen suspects are due to appear in the Verulam Magistrate’s Court in connection with a series of explosive device discoveries as well as the deadly mosque attack in Verulam.
Between March and August this year, Durban and surrounding areas were plagued with several incidents of placing and detonating of these devices, including widespread hoax callers.
The suspects were arrested in and around Durban by an integrated team involving the Hawks (Crimes Against the State), Crime Intelligence, the Forensic Unit, the National Prosecuting Authority including other departments from the justice cluster, last Friday.
During the arrest, various items were confiscated including a ready-made incendiary device.
Police officers also managed to rescue a victim, who was found chained and malnourished inside a dungeon in one of the houses.
The victim is under police protection in one of the hospitals in the Kwazulu-Natal province.
The suspects are likely to face charges of murder, attempted murder, extortion, kidnapping, Contravention of the Explosive Act and arson. More charges cannot be ruled out.
Meanwhile, Minister of Police, General Bheki Cele, said, “Government has deemed the incidents very serious and they demanded a thorough investigation to bring the perpetrators to book. Nothing will distract or divert our attention from creating a safe and secure environment for all people of South Africa.”
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He said he also wants to reiterate the government stance and reassure South Africans that the South African Police Service will continue to do everything within their constitutional mandate to ensure that people are and feel safe.
He welcomed the arrests of the 19 suspects linked to incendiary devices and congratulated the multi-disciplinary team for tirelessly working to ensure that peace and stability is restored in Durban.
The National Commissioner of Police, Gen Khehla Sitole and the National Head of the Hawks, Lt Gen Godfrey Lebeya have added their voices in congratulating the team.
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