News / South Africa / State Capture

Makhosandile Zulu
2 minute read
20 Sep 2019
1:47 pm

How former Hawks boss Ntlemeza allegedly allowed no one to disagree with him

Makhosandile Zulu

A Hawks investigator says the threat did not go down well and that he does not know if Ntlemeza understands its seriousness.

Former Hawks boss Berning Ntlemeza. Picture: Gallo Images / Sowetan / Antonio Muchave

The commission of inquiry into state capture heard on Friday that, soon after his appointment, former Hawks head Berning Ntlemeza allegedly threatened subordinates that they would face repercussions should they challenge his decisions.

The commission was hearing law enforcement-related evidence from Hawks investigator Colonel Kobus Roelofse, who said Ntlemeza was appointed soon after General Anwa Dramat was relieved of his duties on December 23, 2014.

Roelofse said the first thing Ntlemeza did after his appointment was to visit Hawks branches in the provinces of KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape either in late 2014 or early 2015. However, Roelofse said he could not recall which province Ntlemeza visited first.

During these visits, Ntlemeza did not meet with the respective provincial commanders, but rather convened meetings with the anti-corruption task teams in the provinces, the commission heard.

Roelofse said during one of the meetings in the Western Cape, Ntlemeza addressed attendees and said something he, Roelofse, found to be concerning.

“He informed the meeting – now that includes junior officers as well – he informed them that if anyone wanted to challenge his decisions, he would suspend them,” Roelofse told the commission.

He added that Ntlemeza further said that in the case of such a suspension, if anyone took the matter to court “he would get his SC [senior counsel] to fight their SC until that person runs out of funds”.

“He then further said even if that person was successful in challenging his decisions he would in any event transfer the person out of the DPCI [Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation AKA Hawks],” Roelofse said, adding that he was “taken aback” by Ntlemeza’s threat.

He added that he did not know what prompted Ntlemeza to utter these words, but “it created that climate within the DPCI that you will do what I say, or you will be transferred, or I will suspend you”.

Roelofse said Ntlemeza was suggesting that he would make use of state funds to appoint his own SC “to fight you with your pension, with your money”.

“It didn’t go down well and I don’t know if he understands the seriousness of what he said at the time,” Roelofse told the commission.

“He was basically saying ‘financially I will ruin you’,” Roelofse added.

He had earlier told the commission that at some stage Ntlemeza effectively halted the continuation of or hindered the progress into investigations into the alleged abuse of the crime intelligence slush fund.

The commission adjourned for the day on Friday and will resume on this coming Monday at 2pm.

ALSO READ: Zondo worries SAPS may be trying to cover up Crime Intelligence slush fund abuses

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