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Bheki Cele says task team has arrested 360 suspects for KZN political killings

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Minister of Police Bheki Cele says the crack team of investigators that was set up to probe political killings in KwaZulu-Natal has managed to arrest 360 suspects with 65 having been convicted.

Cele said they have been working around the clock to arrest those involved in political killings in the province in the last decade.

He said the strategy they were implementing in KZN will be replicated in other provinces.

The KZN province has seen a spike in the killing of political leaders in the past few years.

The African National Congress (ANC), the Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP), the National Freedom Party (NFP) and the Democratic Alliance (DA) have had their leaders killed in municipalities.

Political parties have complained about lack of action by the police to arrest the perpetrators. However, Cele stated they have been acting and arrests have been made.

He said since the establishment of the task team of the police they have made progress in these cases.

“Since the establishment of the team a total of 360 suspects have been arrested and charged with 122 suspects still in custody awaiting trial, 42 having been released on bail, and 65 having been convicted. A total of 82 suspects had charges against them provisionally withdrawn, pending additional evidence, 17 died after they were charged and 32 were found not guilty,” said Cele.

The minister was replying to a written parliamentary question from Economic Freedom Fighters member Nosipho Makamba-Botya.

He added that when President Cyril Ramaphosa asked ministers in the Security Cluster to deal with the matter, they set up a task team to investigate political killings in the province.

The task team was asked by ministers in the security cluster to speedily investigate these cases and ensure that perpetrators were brought to book.

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