The National Commissioner of the South African Police Service (SAPS), General Fannie Masemola has commended the SAPS’ Interpol National Centre Bureau (NCB) in South Africa for its persistent efforts in tracing and arresting wanted fugitives in the country.
In their latest breakthrough, Interpol South Africa has tracked down an Ireland fugitive to one of the country’s correctional centre’s in Kwa-Zulu Natal.
The fugitive is currently serving a 15-year-jail sentence in SA for murder. The fugitive is also wanted in Ireland for a double murder case.
Neville Van Der Westhuizen, a 40-year-old South African born man and his Irish ex- girlfriend Ruth Lawrence allegedly murdered two Irish nationals in 2014.
After the murder, they fled the country.
Last month, 42-year-old Ruth Lawrence was traced and arrested by the Hawks in Bloemfontein. She has already appeared before the Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court on the murder charges. The matter has already been enrolled in court for an extradition enquiry.
Van Der Westhuizen has already appeared before the Durban Magistrate’s Court and his extradition enquiry has been postponed to 12 December 2022.
In another case, the team extradited a Botswana fugitive, Wazha Nthoiwa-Mazinyane. The team handed over the fugitive to Botswana authorities earlier this week at the Tlokweng border gate. Mazinyane fled Botswana evading law enforcement after he was charged for offences relating to armed robberies in Botswana by Francistown police.
General Fannie Masemola says South Africa is not a playground for criminals and fugitives.
“ These ongoing arrests and take down operations should send a stern warning to those fugitives of justice who are in the country and criminals in South Africa that we are squeezing the space for them to operate, either they hand themselves over to authorities or we fetch them ourselves. South Africa is not a hiding place and a playground for criminals”, concluded, General Fannie Masemola.