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Hawks arrest 'death squad' suspects

A joint investigation resulted in detectives searching homes in Durban and Gauteng.

A joint investigation resulted in 60 detectives conducting search and seizure raids at homes in Durban and Gauteng.

JOHANNESBURG - All 20 members of the so-called "Cato Manor police death squad" have been arrested, the Hawks confirmed on Wednesday.

A joint investigation by police, the Hawks and the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) resulted in 60 detectives conducting search and seizure raids at homes across Durban and Gauteng.

Two suspects were arrested in Hammanskraal and one on Gauteng's West Rand.

In 2012, the unit was disbanded after it emerged that officers had been involved in the deaths of several suspects.

The squad was led by Major General Johan Booysen.

He has always maintained that the allegations were part of a smear campaign.

Booysen was not among those arrested on Wednesday.

The Hawks' McIntosh Polela said, "We have been able to secure all 20 suspects. They will be taken to the Durban central police station and we need to book them in."

On Tuesday evening, members of the squad heard of their impending arrests and in turn, offered to hand themselves over to police.

Despite this, the Hawks still carried out Wednesday's raids.

In 2011, the Sunday Times reported the unit had a hand in several assassinations, some of which were in retaliation to the police killings.

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