By Jonk Wa Mashamba
Colonel Athlenda Mathe said the Management of the South African Police Service (SAPS) has noted the sentiments expressed by various stakeholders, including the media, the legal fraternity as well as members of the public, pertaining to the execution of the warrant of arrest on Advocate Malesela Teffo at the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria on Thursday, 28 April 2022.
Following the execution of the warrant of arrest, the National Commissioner, General Fannie Masemola announced to the nation that the Provincial Commissioner of Gauteng, Lieutenant General Elias Mawela, would provide a full report on the matter.
Mathe said the National Commissioner is pleased to report that the Provincial Commissioner investigated the circumstances leading up to and surrounding the arrest of Advocate Teffo.
“General Masemola subsequently wishes to place the images depicted in the media into perspective.
“Advocate Teffo was previously arrested by the SAPS on charges of common assault and trespassing after allegedly assaulting a female SAPS member and entering the SAPS Gauteng Provincial building, in contravention of a high court interdict prohibiting him from entering the said building.
“After failing to appear before the Hillbrow Magistrate’s Court on several occasions including on the 27 January 2022, a warrant of arrest (J165) was issued and withheld.
“The case was remanded to 10 February 2022. Advocate Teffo was again not in court, and bail was finally forfeited to the state. An instruction was then issued by the court for the warrant of arrest to be executed.
“Advocate Teffo was aware that a warrant of arrest had been issued as he had contacted the Investigating Officer in this regard, proof of which the SAPS is in possession of.
“It is also worth noting that Advocate Teffo has previously provided various residential addresses to secure his bail. These addresses were visited, but it was later discovered that he could not be traced as he no longer resided at the identified addresses.
“After being made aware that Advocate Teffo was appearing in the North Gauteng High Court in Pretoria, the Investigating Officer in the matter consulted the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).
“Following the advice of the DPP, the Investigating Officer would execute the warrant of arrest upon the adjournment of the matter so as not to disrupt the court proceedings in a separate matter, where the Advocate is representing four of the five accused.”
Mathe said that while the intention was to execute the warrant outside thecourtroomm, the manner in which the events unfolded made it challenging for the team.
“According to the Investigating Officer, as soon as the court adjourned, the investigating officer approached the Advocate who was making his way towards the court door.
“It is important to highlight that after informing the Advocate of the execution of the warrant of arrest and informing him of his rights, the Advocate went back into the court room.”
According to Mathe, the investigating officer then followed Teffo back inside the courtroom in a bid to ensure that the latter complies with the contents of the warrant of arrest.
Teffo allegedly did not cooperate with the investigating officer, which warranted the call for the assistance of the Tactical Response Team (TRT) members who were already posted in the same court for escort duties.
Mathe indicated that the police had a responsibility to arrest a suspect in order to ensure his attendance in court.
“Therefore, the execution of the warrant of arrest in this instance was the initiative of the investigating officer in consultation with his commander, which forms part of the members’ daily duties,” said Mathe.
Teffo appeared in the Hillbrow Magistrate Court on 29 April 2022, where he was granted bail of R10 000. It was postponed until May 27, 2022.