After being on the run for almost two years Ziyaad Haywood, 34, was arrested for murder by Grassy Park police on 7 July after a tip-off.
His parents Moegsien and Julega Haywood were arrested for harbouring a fugitive.
Police had been searching for Haywood since 5 November 2016, after he allegedly killed security guard, Herman Hendricks, at China Town in Ottery.
Hendricks was shot in the face.
According to a source, the suspect’s parents’ home in Tsessebe Way in Lotus River had been searched several times before, but cops could not find him.
“On 7 July we went in there and searched again at about 8am. In their bedroom is a big cupboard and usually there is a cupboard door that you can open and walk into an en suite bathroom but on this day it was all closed up,” says the source.
“His father was behaving suspiciously and so we removed a whole part of the cupboard.
“There was a secret panel and everything. When we got inside, we found Ziyaad and arrested him and his parents.”
The source says it appears Ziyaad was living in the main house and ran into the hidden closet when the cops arrived.
“There was just a shower, toilet and sink. He was living in his own room and just hid in there.
“He is wanted for a lot of cases and was on the province’s top 10 most wanted list.”
Police spokesperson Captain FC van Wyk confirms the arrest and says Ziyaad was wanted for various crimes including hijackings, armed robberies and possession of illegal firearms.
His parents were charged with harbouring a fugitive and were released on R2000 bail.
Ziyaad was sent to Pollsmoor Prison and will his first appearance in Wynberg Magistrates’ Court on 7 September.
Hendricks’ mother, Anna Cheminais, 69, says she prayed every day that her son’s killer would be caught.
Last year the heartbroken mom offered a R5000 reward for information on Ziyaad’s whereabouts and says while nobody came forward, on the day Ziyaad was arrested, she received a message from a stranger.
“He told me he did not want money but that Ziyaad was arrested,” Anna explains.
“That man kept the newspaper with my number and his message said: ‘Hi, you don’t know me and I am not sending you a message for any rewards, but I just want to inform you that the animal that murdered your son is arrested today’.”
Anna says she can now finally get closure.