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Verdicts hailed

Kuils River police station commander Colonel Jayce Naidoo is appealing to local residents to not be fearful of giving witness statements in all serious cases, as this will assist police in securing convictions and long-serving sentences.

Naidoo’s appeal comes after a number of convictions and long-term sentences were secured by detectives at the station.

One of these detectives is Sergeant Marlon Parring, who in recent months secured two convictions and long-term sentences. Parring, who has been a detective for the past 13 years has been at the Kuils River Police Station since 2011, serving in the Serious and Violent Crimes Unit.

The first of his two convictions in recent months was secured in December. “The incident took place in May 2017 where a male, who at the time was still a minor, shot and killed someone in Kalkfontein,” explains Parring. “He was convicted of premeditated murder and sentenced to 15 years, which is three-quarters of the usual sentence for murder because he was still a minor at the time the crime was committed.”

Parring says the successful conviction of the perpetrator was due to the fact that all witnesses testified despite having to be in witness protection because of fears of being hurt by gangsters in the area.

Parring’s second secured conviction comes after a double murder was committed in Kalkfontein in October 2017. “The perpetrator walked in the road and shot and killed a 15-year-old boy. After a person asked him why he did it he also shot that person,” explains Parring. “The suspect and the firearm was found the next day, thanks to information received from the community.”

However, during the trial witnesses were fearful of testifying in the instance of the killing of the boy. “The perpetrator was found not guilty of killing the 15-year-old because of witnesses not being willing to testify,” says Parring. In the instance of the second murder, a witness agreed to testify. “She was a great witness and he was found guilty of murder. He was sentenced to 20 years. However, had witnesses been willing to testify in the instance of the first murder, he would have been sentenced to 55 years.”

Parring urges the community to note that their testimony can make all the difference in ensuring that perpetrators do not get away after having committed heinous crimes. “Innocent people and our youth are being killed. I want to urge local residents to stand up and testify against these elements. If they are afraid we are able to keep them safe by placing them in witness protection. Then, not even I will know where the witnesses are being held. So witnesses are kept extremely safe,” he says.

Currently, the most murders and gang activity in the station’s jurisdiction is taking place in Kalkfontein.

“Witnesses are often willing to give statements but not willing to go to court, but should they do so it will solve so many cases,” says Parring.

Fellow detective at the station Sergeant Denise Perel also recently secured a conviction for an incident of robbery with a firearm on the R300 which took place in October last year. “The victim was stuck on the R300 and called his son to come and help him. When his son arrived they were approached by a man who threatened them and asked for their cellphone and wallets. The perpetrator took their cellphones and ran away,” explains Perel.

Unknown to the perpetrator the victim’s car had a dashboard camera. Perel was then able to identify the perpetrator, as he was a regular committer of crime. “I identified the perpetrator, as I have dealt with him before,” explains Perel. She then visited him at his home in Kalkfontein and arrested him in Elmarie Street. “He entered into a plea bargain and was sentenced to eight years in January for aggravated robbery with a firearm,” she says.

“The complainant, in this case, was very happy that we were able to finalise this case within three months, even though he did not receive his property back.”

Colonel Karen Vorsatz, the head of visible policing at Kuils River says local police are ensuring that a vehicle is always in Kalkfontein. “We ensure that we always have a vehicle patrolling in Kalkfontein. We can’t afford any more murders and attempted murders,” says Vorsatz.

She is urging local residents to take ownership of their community’s safety by joining their local neighbourhood watches and street committees. “Be the eyes and ears of our station and take ownership of the streets. Engage with us as this will assist us in solving pressing crime-related problems,” says Vorsatz.

What is your opinion on this article? Let us know at briewe@tygerburger.co.za.

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