Phiyega told journalists in Pretoria on Saturday that Krejcir and another, as yet un-named suspect, were arrested last night on kidnapping and attempted murder charges, following “a long investigation” carried out by various units within the SAPS.
It is understood that Krejcir’s co-accused is a foreign national, although it is unclear yet whether he has a South African identity document or not. The complainant in the matter is a South African male from Johannesburg’s east Rand.
The incident occurred in June this year and was reported in the east Rand. It is understood that a charge of grievous bodily harm formed part of the initial charges against Krejcir and his co-accused, but this was elevated to a charge of attempted murder due to the alleged severity of the assault.
Phiyega said: “This is a significant breakthrough, it took us a long time to work on this matter. The arrest is a result of a multi-disciplinary team effort and we are continuing with this investigation and are hoping for more arrests in this regard.”
Phiyega was questioned on whether the latest charges against Krejcir would stick, after armed robbery charges were withdrawn against him and his co-accused earlier this year. Phiyega said: “This time we have arrest warrants, which tells us there is a case to be answered to.”
Police got the two arrest warrants earlier in the week, meaning they would have been issued based on the police docket, the Mail & Guardian understands. The multi-disciplinary team consists of the Hawks, the detectives unit, the police’s tactical response unit as well as the police’s crime intelligence unit, Phiyega said.
Although details of the incident will only be revealed on Monday when the two men appear in court, the M&G understands from sources with an insight into the police investigation that the alleged kidnapping occurred in Ermelo in Mpumalanga, while the assault occurred in the East Rand.
Krejcir was arrested at his home in Bedfordview last night and taken to an unknown location by the police’s crime intelligence unit. Krejcir’s lawyers, who brought an urgent court interdict application late last night, were granted a court order at about midnight to force police to tell them where they had taken their client. They still do not know where Krejcir was being kept by the time of this afternoon’s press briefing.
However, Phiyega said this afternoon: “The suspects are currently safely in police custody. We have noted the High Court order and we will be communicating with their lawyers.
“We are also looking into the possibility of the involvement of members of the SAPS. We cannot discuss the merits of the case against the accused at this stage because all the details will be relegated in court. Our role is to ensure that justice prevails.”
This week the M&G reported that the head of Johannesburg’s east Rand organised crime unit Colonel Frans Steyn received a loan from Krejcir-linked company Groep Twee Beleggings in 2010. While Steyn falls under the Hawks unit, national police spokesman Lieutenant-General Solomon Makgale told the M&G: “There is an internal inquiry underway into the serious allegations contained in the article.”
Minister commends police
The Minister of Police, Nathi Mthethwa, commended the police team in a statement released on Saturday following Krejcir’s arrest last night. “Contrary to what many perceived as reluctance on the part of the police to act around some of the crimes where the suspect is alleged to be involved, particularly around the Bedfordview area, from our side we know that a lot was being done by the police.
“This augurs appropriately with our community-participation philosophy of a partnership between police and communities. Such co-operation will ensure that collectively, we remove from society those who think they can do wrong without any consequence.
“South Africa is a democratic state where the rule of law applies. Any person who defies these laws, will face the full might of the law.
“We also need to send a message to the people of Gauteng and Bedfordview that we care and understand what they are going through. We will do all in our power to ensure that they are and feel safe,” concluded the Minister.