Pietermaritzburg police will not bugde in the face of intimidation by local gang members after the death of suspected gang leader, Ian Williams.
Williams, 29, from Eastwood, had a string of charges against him, including being the mastermind behind a car theft syndicate, as well as for the murder of Tyron Terry in Imbali in an alleged road rage incident.
His gang was suspected of being linked to about 100 cases of housebreaking, business robberies and car thefts in Pietermaritzburg and surrounding areas.
Williams was out on bail when he, together with his alleged accomplice, Lwazi Ngubane, were killed in a gun battle with police in Montrose on April 30.
Williams’s brother, Derrick, was injured in the shoot-out, and is currently recovering in hospital under police guard.
After Williams’s death, an alleged “hit list” including the names of police members involved in Williams’s shooting was rumoured to be doing the rounds among his surviving gang members.
One police source involved in the case said they would not allow themselves to be intimidated.
“We are there to protect and serve. The SAPS will ensure that any threat is met with the necessary law enforcement to ensure the threat is neutralised,” the source said.
Police spokeswoman, Captain Gay Ebrahim, said the threats against the police were being taken very seriously and high-level investigations were under way to ensure that perpetrators were soon brought to justice.
“Police management understands the challenges and risks associated with being a police official, and reassures the members and their families that the police will do everything in their power to safeguard them,” said Ebrahim.
Meanwhile, Williams was laid to rest at the weekend amid a large police presence at the Mountain Rise cemetery.
Williams’s younger brother, Boyce, did not make it to bid a final farewell to his brother because of his arrest a day before the funeral.
The arrest came after news circulated on social media that gang members were out to hijack vehicles to burn as part of a ritual send-off for a slain gang leader.
Boyce appeared in the Pietermaritzburg District Court this week alongside three other alleged gang members, Mduduzo Dlamini, 27, Lindelani Mbanjwa, 23, and a 15-year-old youth charged with the possession of an unlicensed firearm and possession of car-breaking implements.
They were remanded in custody until Tuesday for a formal bail application.