Hawks apologise for release blunder

Five dangerous suspects arrested on charges of attempted robbery were released without being charged.

FILE. Police management has admitted that they failed to bring the suspects before a magistrate within the 48 hours stipulated in law, and had to release them on Monday afternoon. Picture: Supplied.

PRETORIA - Hawks management has apologised to the public for a blunder that saw five dangerous suspects arrested on charges of attempted robbery, and then released without being charged.

The five men were detained on Saturday in Vereeniging following a positive tip-off from a member of the public.

Several firearms including an assault rifle were seized.

But the suspects were all released on a technicality.

Police management has admitted that they failed to bring the suspects before a magistrate within the 48 hours stipulated in law, and had to release them on Monday afternoon.

Hawks spokesperson Hangwani Mulaudzi said they are working to re-arrest the suspects.

"We want to apologise to the community. We're very disappointed in what transpired, hence we're working very hard to make sure that we rectify whatever happened."

He said members will be subjected to a disciplinary hearing if it's found they were responsible for the blunder.