Thus far, only one man remains in custody for the triple murder in Gugulethu on new year’s day. Police have now gone back to the drawing board, to re-arrest the initial two suspects that were apprehended.
Three men were killed and another seriously injured in shooting incident in NY137, Gugulethu – on Monday, 1 January 2024. Two days later, police made their first arrest in connection with the case – two suspects were apprehended.
In a statement on Wednesday, Brigadier Novela Potwelwa, noted that the 26- and 36-year-old suspects were taken into custody in Goodwood and Blue Downs, are were expected on court on Friday, 5 January – on murder and attempted murder charges.
“The motive for the shooting incident is the subject of the police investigation currently underway. As investigations unfold the detectives have set their sight on another suspect.”
On Saturday, 6 January: Western Cape Police Oversight MEC, Reagan Allen, noted his concern regarding information that the suspects arrested were let go. He says inefficiencies on the part of the South African Police Services were said to be behind their alleged release.
“It is reported that there is insufficient evidence, the docket is incomplete and one of the alleged suspects was not brought to court on time to appear. What’s further alarming is that it appears that the wrong suspects were apprehended.”
Allen noted that he would be writing the Western Cape Police Commissioner to address the matter.
But all was not lost, as a third suspect came forward. This suspect, now known as Bongani Phillips, handed himself over to police in Manenberg on Saturday. He made his first court appearance at the Athlone Magistrates court on Monday – and remains in police custody until his next appearance on 15 January.
The police’s Andre Traut noted that the case against the two suspects initially arrested had “not been enrolled at court due to technicalities pointed out by the Senior State Prosecutor” – he adds that those technicalities have since been addressed, and warrants for the arrest of these suspects have been issued.
“Once arrested, they will join Bongani Philipps in the dock.”