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Cato Manor squad members still face charges after Booysen's reprieve

The NPA also confirmed it would communicate the decision to drop the racketeering charges against former KwaZulu-Natal Hawks head Johan Booysen and former detectives to the families of the people who were killed in Cato Manor.

FILE: Former KZN Hawks boss Johan Booysen. Picture: Christa Eybers/EWN

JOHANNESBURG – National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) head advocate Shamila Batohi has decided to withdraw racketeering charges against former KwaZulu-Natal Hawks head Johan Booysen and former Cato Manor detectives.

The initial decision by fired former deputy national director Nomgcobo Jiba was set aside by the Durban High Court, but the charges were later reinstated by Advocate Shaun Abrahams when he was appointed to lead the NPA.

Criminal charges, including housebreaking and defeating the ends of justice still hang over the heads of other so-called Cato Manor Death Squad members, despite the decision to withdraw the racketeering charges.

The evidence in these cases will be re-assessed by the acting deputy public prosecutor for KZN, Advocate Elaine Zungu who will then decide whether to prosecute "implicated individuals".

Booysen and other senior police officials were arrested in 2012 and faced over 100 charges after a series of stories, now confirmed to be false, were published in the Sunday Times, linking them to mass murder in Cato Manor.

The NPA also confirmed it would communicate the decision to drop the racketeering charges to the families of the people who were killed in Cato Manor.

“It is important for them to know that the withdrawal of the racketeering charges does not mean that there will be no justice for victims of the crimes. Where there is sufficient evidence that actions of the police amount to criminal conduct, those responsible will be prosecuted and held accountable.”

Booysen took early retirement from police in 2017.