Ricochet News

Police warn against making false statements after arrest of gang affiliate

Feb 23, 2018
Police warn against making false statements after arrest of gang affiliate

The Eastern Cape Provincial Gang Investigation Unit made outstanding successes during the month of February including convictions of gang members and arrests.

"The Unit is also clamping down on those complainants, who open false cases," said police spokesperson, Colonel Priscilla Naidu.

"On Thursday, investigators arrested a 23-year-old gang affiliate and detained him in terms of the contravention of the Commissioner of Justice and Oaths Act, Section 9 – making  a false statement under oath."

It is alleged that in July 2017, the suspect was the complainant in two cases where he alleged that he was shot at by three suspects known to him.

"Three weeks after the shooting, the Unit members arrested the suspects.

"In January 2018, the suspect withdrew the cases against the arrested persons in both cases," described Col Naidu.

"Immediately thereafter, police opened the abovementioned case against the suspect. He was arrested and detained and will appear in the Port Elizabeth Magistrate's Court on Friday." 

She said that again on Thursday, another gang member, Timothy Van Staden, 22 years old, was sentenced in the Port Elizabeth regional court for murder, attempted murder, illegal possession of a firearm and illegal possession of ammunition.

"In July 2016, the accused fatally wounded Gershwin Samuels (25) while he was walking in Leith Street with a friend. The friend escaped unscathed," explained Col Naidu.

"Three weeks later, Van Staden was arrested in Helenvale and remained in custody until the finalisation of the case.

"On Thursday, he was sentenced to 15 years imprisonment for murder, 10 years for attempted murder, and eight years for illegal possession of a firearm and two years for illegal possession of ammunition.

"All other sentences will run concurrent to the murder sentence. Effectively, he will serve 15 years imprisonment."

She said that this is the fourth conviction secured against gang members in the last three weeks.

"One life imprisonment and a total of 52 years will be spent behind bars by the accused in separate cases."

The Cluster Commander for Mount Road, Maj Gen Thembisile Patekile, commended the Unit and the prosecuting authority on their recent successes.

He also sent out a stern warning to the communities that "We will not hesitate to arrest and detain those, who open false cases. The cases opened are very serious allegations and require intensive investigation which entail many long hours, manpower and resources. These resources could have been fruitfully utilised in more urgent matters of policing."