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New Westbury Gang Violence Suspect Arrested


A 32-year-old man was arrested on Sunday in connection with the murder of 41-year-old Heather Peterson who died after getting caught up in a shootout in the suburb of Westbury, her killing leading to the recent strike in the area.

The 32-year-old suspect was also arrested in connection with the attempted murder of Peterson’s 10-year-old niece who survived the crossfire of a gun battle between alleged drug dealers.

Peterson was laid to rest earlier this month.

The suspect is due to appear at the Johannesburg Magistrate Court soon.

Gauteng SAPS spokesperson Captain Kay Makhubela said the suspect was arrested following a joint intelligence-driven operation on Sunday afternoon.

“Police operationalised information from the community and traced the suspect to a house in Krugersdorp where the man was arrested,” Makhubela said.

Makhubela added that members of the public are encouraged to continue to report a crime to any police station or by calling the SAPS Crime Stop number 08600 10111.

Violent and destructive protests sparked by the killing of Petersen broke out in Westbury recently, which led to Police Minister Bheki Cele’s intervention.

The Westbury community had raised concerns about the high prevalence of drugs, gang-related violence, and corrupt police officers who are allegedly bribed to turn a blind eye to criminal activity.

Cele’s intervention led to the deployment of a tactical response team (TRT) dedicated to the Westbury policing precinct.

Last week, corrupt cops were nabbed in Sophiatown for alleged connection to a murder in Westbury.

National Commissioner of Police General Khehla Sitole released a statement last week detailing the arrest of two allegedly corrupt policemen on charges of murder and defeating the ends of justice.

The pair is among seven arrested in connection with the murder of 21-year-old Bradley Sauls, who was gunned down in Westbury in July.

The two policemen, Wynand Steyn and Sergeant Tom Keet, are “alleged to have concealed crucial evidence after having arrived first on the scene”.

Four suspects have already appeared in court last Monday over Sauls’ murder and are currently in custody. The report says that a fifth suspect has since been arrested, and will appear in court alongside the two policemen. The state will be opposing bail.

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