Thorough investigation and close collaboration between investigators and the prosecuting authority has ensured that a gang affiliate will remain behind bars for many years. On 7 May 2016 at 22:10, two males entered a house in Deverill Street in Helenvale and started shooting at the two victims inside the house. Charlton Mathews (29) sustained multiple gunshot wounds and died on the scene while the other victim (28) was shot in his back. The suspects then ran away.

The accused Jermaine Ruiters was identified as one of the shooters and had evaded police. On 20 May 2016, police received information about a shooting in Calvin Street in Helenvale. It was alleged that a male was shot and taken to hospital. The investigating officer proceeded to hospital and found the accused, Jermaine Ruiters (18 at the time) with two gunshot wounds. He was arrested and charged for Mathews’s murder and attempted murder.

Ruiters was also charged for attempted murder which took place on 17 May 2016 in Pienaar Street in Helenvale. At 15:00 on the said date, Ruiters and another male was at the corners of Ambraal and Pienaar Streets when they starting shooting at the victim (in his twenties) and his two friends. No one was injured during the shooting. Ruiters remained in custody until the finalisation of the case.

On 12 August 2019, he was found guilty and sentenced in the Port Elizabeth Regional court on the following cases:

Murder (Mathews) � 24 years

Attempted murder: 12 years

Unlawful possession of firearm: 6 years

Unlawful possession of ammunition: 6 years

On the case of attempted murder in Pienaar Street, he was sentenced as follows:

Attempted murder: 5 years each

Unlawful possession of firearm: 6 years

Unlawful possession of ammunition: 6 years

Ruiters will effectively serve 24 years in prison as the rest of the other sentences will run concurrently with the murder sentence.

Provincial Commissioner, Lt Gen LiziweNtshinga has welcomed the sentencing and commended the investigating team including the prosecuting authority. ‘The thorough investigation of the case in collaboration with the prosecuting authority as well as evidence of witnesses not only help in the eradication of crime and criminality but also enables the SAPS to provide a safe and secure environment for the communities they serve. The core business of the SAPS is to fight crime and bring criminals to justice and sentences such as this re-assures the community of our commitment to our call of duty,’ added Lt Gen Ntshinga.

Source: South African Police Service