SAPS commended for arrest of policemen, court officials

Friday, October 30, 2009

Pretoria - North West MEC for Public Safety, Howard Yawa, has commended police for the arrest of a court interpreter and two Brits policemen on charges of defeating the ends of justice.

The three were arrested in connection with a case involving suspects arrested in relation with the manufacture of "ice drugs" to the estimated value of R270 million.

"The war against crime starts with cleaning our own house so that criminals know that none of us are on their side, the battle lines are drawn, there is no place in the justice, crime prevention and security environment for police and court officials who facilitate escapes of suspects from custody," said MEC Yawa.

The three suspects are alleged to have faked warrants of detention against the directive of the court to release two Zimbabwean nationals, Emmanuel Masara and Standton Musumburi on bail of R500 each.

The court had expressly denied them bail as they were a flight risk.

Four other accused, Alfred Campbell, Warren Gillespie, Mariaan Walsch and Warwick Walsch (now divorced) are also on trial for the manufacture of the "ice drugs" on a Mooinooi farm.

Brits Regional Magistrate Mathee had as a result of the disappearance of Masara and Musumbiri, issued warrants for their arrest and set the trial for March, April and May 2010 in order to give investigators sufficient time to track them down and rearrest them and for them to stand trial with all of their fellow accused.

The 2007 drug bust at the farm where the laboratories for the manufacture of the drugs were located during the raid which were carried out by members of the SAPS task force and investigators, is owned by a 39 year-old electrical engineer, Warwick Walsch.

Apart from the drug-related offences, Walsch is alleged to have also contravened tax laws, had several assets and did importing and exporting without paying any tax.

The South African Revenue Service intends confiscating possessions and property in order to recover the taxes he owes.

The state had earlier contracted a private environmental company to clean up the drug manufacturing laboratories and the surrounding environment after the arrest of the people involved in drug manufacturing operations on the farm.