'Death squad' cop dies a day after charges dropped

Ajith Ghaness, one of the 27 cops linked to the Cato Manor 'death squad', died on July 18 2019.
Ajith Ghaness, one of the 27 cops linked to the Cato Manor 'death squad', died on July 18 2019.
Image: Facebook/Ajith Singh Ghaness

A member of the so-called "Cato Manor death squad" died on Thursday, a day after charges had been withdrawn against the 27 men implicated in the case in the Durban high court. 

Speaking to TimesLIVE, retired Hawks head Johan Booysen confirmed that Ajith Ghaness, 51, had died from what he understood as multiple organ failure on Thursday. 

Ghaness was one of two implicated policemen who were not in court on Wednesday and had submitted a doctor's note to explain his absence.

Booysen said it was "so sad" that Ghaness couldn't be in court to hear that the charges had been dropped against him. 

"At least he died a free man. I think the prosecutors who made these false charges, they have got more blood on their hands."

The cops were arrested in 2012 on allegations that they had been running a "death squad".

The charges related to the alleged extra-judicial killings of 45 people by the Durban organised crime unit, based in Cato Manor. They were collectively facing 116 charges.


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