In what is being referred to as a breakthrough by the South African Police Service (SAPS), a South African man currently serving a 15-year sentence in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) will be extradited to Ireland in connection with a 2014 double murder.
IRISHWOMAN, SA MAN TO FACE DOUBLE MURDER IN IRELAND
The South African previously reported that Neville Van Der Westhuizen, 40, is imprisoned for his involvement in the death of Bluff teenager, Cody Houghton, who was 19 when he died in 2017.
“In their latest breakthrough, Interpol South Africa has tracked down an Ireland fugitive to one of the country’s correctional centres in Kwa-Zulu Natal,” said SAPS spokesperson Colonel Athlenda Mathe in a statement on 19 November.
Van Der Westhuizen’s ex-girlfriend, fugitive, Hannah Lawrence, 42, was arrested by the Hawks in Bloemfontein in October.
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Both, Lawrence and van der Westhuizen are wanted in connection with the 2014 double murder of two friends, Eoin O’Connor and Anthony Keegan, in County Meath, Ireland. The suspects allegedly fled the country after the murder.
Lawrence opted against applying for bail and told the Bloemfontein court she is willing to return home to face the charges. Van der Westhuizen has also already appeared before the Durban Magistrates Court and his extradition enquiry has been postponed to 12 December.
“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,” said National Police Commissioner, General Fannie Masemola.
On Thursday, Israel’s most wanted suspect, Yaniv Yossi Ben Simon, was arrested by Interpol in Bryanston, Johannesburg. His extradition enquiry started the next day. He is linked to the Abergil crime family in Israel and has reportedly been living in South Africa since 2007.
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