Five held over homeless man’s killing

Five Northpine men have been arrested in connection with the death of a homeless man.

Police have arrested five men after a homeless man was stabbed to death in Brackenfell.

They appeared in court on Tuesday for a bail hearing after their arrest on Monday.

The killing followed a confrontation, on Saturday afternoon, between six men from Northpine and a group of homeless people living between Northpine and the back of a Shoprite warehouse, police say.

“It is still unclear what led to the confrontation but will be determined through further investigation,” said Brackenfell police spokeswoman Captain Erica Crous.

Both groups threw stones at each other, and one of the men from Northpine drew a knife and stabbed the 58-year-old homeless man in the back before striking him on the head with a rock, police say.

The man died at the scene from head injuries.

Police traced the suspect to a house in Northpine where they arrested five men, aged from 18 to 42.

Meanwhile, the Brackenfell Community Policing Forum has called for an investigation after Brackenfell police officers allegedly failed to help a woman open a case of assault against her boyfriend on Sunday January 9.

One of the officers on the shift was accused of subsequently raping the domestic-violence complainant.

Western Cape NPA spokesman Eric Ntabazalila told the Cape Times this week that the officer had appeared in court on rape charges and was remanded in custody pending a formal bail application on Monday February 2.

“We view this incident in a very serious light and will do everything in our power to ensure that the accused will not get any preferential treatment,” said CPF chairman Werner Victor.

“We also have a concern as to why the case of assault was not opened against the boyfriend of the victim when it was first reported. Proper procedures were not followed and CPF Brackenfell requested that the entire shift on duty at the time of the incident be investigated.

“We have had discussions with the management of Brackenfell SAPS and know that disciplinary actions have been instituted and are being investigated. We will monitor the process closely.”

The police could not refuse to open a case even if the incident happened outside the precinct, he said.

“If you’re confronted by a SAPS member that doesn’t want to open a case, please get in contact with your local CPF as soon as possible. If it’s an emergency, phone 10111 and get a reference number. All calls to 10111 get recorded,” Mr Victor said.