Suspects in court for Westbury murder that sparked protests

Charges relate to killing of Heather Petersen and attempted murder of a minor

Suspects in court for Westbury murder that sparked protests

8 October 2018

Two suspects have appeared in the Johannesburg Central Magistrate's Court in connection with the murder of Westbury resident Heather Petersen and the attempted murder of a minor.

Livert May and Shaeez Moolgie made a brief appearance on Monday and they are expected to apply for bail on October 17.

Moolgie is charged with Petersen's murder, while May is charged with murder and attempted murder – charges related to Petersen's murder as well as the shooting of a child who was with her at the time of the shooting.

Petersen was shot dead over a week ago. It is believed she was caught in the crossfire of a shootout.

Westbury residents took to the streets in the wake of Petersen's death in protest over drug-related violence in the area and alleged police corruption.

In a statement on Saturday, police spokesperson Kay Makhubele said eight people were arrested in a joint intelligence operation on Friday night. He said four of the suspects would face charges related to the murder of 31-year-old Bradley Saul, killed in July this year. Saul was apparently accused of killing the son of one of the suspects.

Tactical response team deployed

The other four suspects were arrested in connection with possession of and dealing in drugs. A firearm and drugs were also found during the operation, Makhubele said.

This follows the establishment of a task team by Police Minister Bheki Cele last week. On October 2, Cele visited the area and promised to deploy the police's Tactical Response Team (TRT) to push back the drug lords.

Makhubele told News24 that the TRT formed part of a bigger task team comprising police Crime Intelligence, the flying squad, public order policing and other units. He said the team was deployed to beef up police man power in the area, as well as to deal with allegations of corruption levelled at local police by community members.

About 150 TRT members and at least 10 undercover police officers had been deployed, he said. On Thursday afternoon, a suspect was arrested in connection with a shooting in the area, and on Thursday night, three suspected drug dealers were arrested in Eldorado Park, Makhubele said.