The Committee received a briefing by the Directorate for Priority Crimes Investigation (Hawks) on the establishment of specialised units, namely, the National Bureau for Illegal Firearm and Priority Violent Crime (NBIFCPVC) and South African Narcotics Enforcement Bureau (SANEB). The NBIFCPVC would prioritise forensic linkages, stock control, transactional networks, police killings and violent crime. The SANEB, on the other hand, would be focused on manufacturing, cultivation, human couriers and manufacturing of narcotics. There would also be a dedicated focus on transactional networks and other emerging threats. There were a total of 90 members in the NBIFCPVC and 106 in SANEB throughout the country. Gauteng had the highest number of people (22) in NBIFCPVC while Eastern Cape had the lowest (3). There was also a similar trend in SANEB with Gauteng with the highest number of members (25) while Eastern Cape had the lowest (2).
There were a total of 436 arrests from March 2016 to 27 January 2017 on crimes related to drugs and 26 convictions. The value of drugs confiscated was around R116 047 300.There was total of 231 arrests on crimes related to illegal firearms and violence and 22 convictions. There were 1 850 illegal firearms confiscated in the process. The National Bureau for Illegal Firearms and Priority Violent Crimes is under the command and control of a Section Head (at the level of a Brigadier) who reports directly to the Head (Maj Gen): Serious Organised Crime Investigation. The three Deputy Directors at a level of a Colonel reporting to the Section Head: National Bureau for Illegal Firearms & Priority Violent Crimes are responsible for the following sub sections;-
- Firearms and Explosives
- Priority Violent Crimes
- International Vehicle Investigation
Members asked if there would be an addition of staff members to complement the implementation of the permanent structure. It would be important to know if there was cooperation between the Hawks and the Crime Intelligence in the fight to take drugs away from the communities. The Committee should be provided with assurance that there would be proper and constant vetting, particularly of Brigadiers and Colonels, so as to avoid the situation where these members were co-opted by criminal syndicates. They also wanted to know if there was a specific reason why Eastern Cape only had three members within NBIFCPVC and two from SANEF compared to Gauteng that had 22 and 25 members respectively. It was stated that there was total of 231 arrests made on crimes related to illegal firearm and violence and 22 convictions. The question that should be asked was what had happened to those individuals that ended up not getting convicted.
Members also wanted to know whether the new structure on the establishment of specialised units had already been approved as this was not clear from the presentation provided. If the structure had been approved, when did this take place? Why did it take a year for the structure to be approved? Who is responsible for the finalisation of the structure? They requested the Committee be provided with a relative breakdown of the 1 850 illegal firearms confiscated per province so as to have an understanding of which areas that seemed heavily impacted by illegal firearms. Was there a level of cooperation between INTERPOL and Hawks? The reality was that people do not report criminal activities because of lack of trust between the communities and SAPS members. It would be critically important for the Hawks to have further resources or equipment to detect drugs at the borders as this was where the problem was rife.
The Committee also received a briefing on the politically motivated killings in KwaZulu-Natal - most of the cases identified happened before and after the 2016 local government elections. There was a total of 48 politically-motivated reported cases in KZN and murders were 28 with 28 arrests. There were 13 cases of attempted murder and 2 arrests and 4 cases of arson with 12 arrests. There were five cases of assault and pointing of a firearm with seven arrests. Some of the cases were still in court while others were still under investigation. There was a multidisciplinary task-team formulated after the local elections.
Members asked about some of the reasons for the withdrawal of some of the serious cases like murder as reflected in the presentation and the meaning of “declined to prosecute” as reflected in the presentation. They also felt the fact that there were no arrests made of the callous criminals terrorising communities would perpetuate the problem of vigilantism or mob justice. The Committee wanted to know about the crime intelligence capacity in KZN which was required to deal with these cases – this question was asked in light of the long list of suspects regarded as unknown. The Hawks should be working with communities in order to build the trust with the general public, ultimately improving crime reporting. These assassins were living in the communities. Some Members felt the overload of case dockets to be dealt with by warrant officers could be contributing to the police’s failure to make any “break-through” in these cases.
Chairperson’s opening remarks
The Chairperson welcomed everyone in the meeting and indicated that the entire Committee would like to send condolences to the family and friends of the late Judge Essa Moosa who passed away this week. Members and everyone were asked to observe a moment of silence for the late Judge Moosa, who had been described as a stalwart of the struggle against apartheid. Judge Moosa had been Head of the Office of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI) Judge.
Briefing by the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation
Lt. Gen. Berning Ntlemeza, Head of DPCI, indicated that the purpose of the presentation was to report to the Committee on the progress in regard to the establishment of the two specialised units, namely, National Bureau for Illegal Firearm and Priority Violent Crime (NBIFCPVC) and the South African Narcotics Enforcement Bureau (SANEB). During the 2016 State of the Nation Address, President Zuma pronounced on the establishment of two units within the DPCI to investigate national priority offences to drugs and proliferation of firearms. The NBIFCPVC would prioritise forensic linkages, stock control, transactional networks, police killings and violent crime. The SANEB, on the other hand, would be focused on manufacturing, cultivation, human couriers and manufacturing of narcotics. There would also be a dedicated focus on transactional networks and other emerging threats.
Lt Gen Ntlemeza stated that there were a total of 90 members in the NBIFCPVC and 106 in SANEB throughout the country. Gauteng had the highest number of members (22) in NBIFCPVC while Eastern Cape had the lowest (3). There was also a similar trend in SANEB – Gauteng had the highest number of members (25) while Eastern Cape had the lowest (2). The National Bureau for Illegal Firearms and Priority Violent Crimes was under the command and control of a Section Head (at the level of a Brigadier) who reported directly to the Head (Maj Gen): Serious Organised Crime Investigation. The three Deputy Directors at a level of Colonel reporting to the Section Head: National Bureau for Illegal Firearms & Priority Violent Crimes were responsible for the following sub sections:
Firearms and Explosives
Priority Violent Crimes
International Vehicle Investigation
Lt Gen Ntlemeza mentioned that at provincial level, the Specialised Units were accountable to the Section Head: Serious Organised Crime Investigation at level of Brigadier. The two Section Commanders, at level of Colonel, oversaw the specialised units - one was responsible for the SA Narcotics Enforcement Bureau and the other was in charge of the National Bureau for Illegal Firearms and Priority Violent Crimes. The implementation of the structure at all levels will be finalised upon approval of the structure of the DPCI. There were a total of 436 arrests from March 2016 to 27 January 2017 on crimes related to drugs and 26 convictions. The value of drugs confiscated was around R116 047 300.There was total of 231 arrests made on crimes related to illegal firearms and violence and 22 convictions. There were 1 850 illegal firearms confiscated.
On 7 July 2016 at 20h00, an operation was held by DPCI SANEB Western Cape, Crime Intelligence and DPCI SANEB in Gauteng on a plot at 24 Road 3, De Deur area. During the operation four suspects were arrested for dealing in drugs after a fully equipped Mandrax clandestine laboratory was uncovered. Inside the premises a tablet press machine, a crusher machine, chemicals, equipment for the manufacturing of Mandrax and the final packaged product were seized, to the value of R105 million. Sandton CAS 730/11/2016 – after information was received that two Nigerian Nationals were dealing in drugs in Bryanston, an operation was conducted by SANEB Gauteng and an arrest was effected. SANEB followed up on information regarding a drug deal that would take place in Braamfontein. A Tanzanian male was arrested. They proceeded to his residence were 7kg 700gms cannabis as well as R60 000, 00 was confiscated.
On 15 December 2016, members of the Dog Unit in Vaal Rand discovered information about a clandestine laboratory that was manufacturing drugs (crystal meth) at no. 158-78 Thomas Road, Pamona - on the same premises they also recovered chemicals to manufacture crystal meth. Members of the SANEB office were called and attended the crime scene. The four suspects were arrested and detained at Benoni SAPS. The value of amount involved is R2.5 million. It must be highlighted that the implementation of the permanent structure was upon approval.
The Chairperson asked if there would be an addition of staff members to complement the implementation of the permanent structure. It would be important to hear if there was cooperation between the Hawks and crime intelligence in the fight in taking drugs away from the communities. The Committee should be provided with assurance that there would be proper and constant vetting, particularly of Brigadiers and Colonels, so as to avoid the situation where these members were co-opted by criminal syndicates.
Ms M Mmola (ANC) wanted to know if there was a specific reason why Eastern Cape only had three members within NBIFCPVC and two from SANEF compared to Gauteng that had 22 and 25 members respectively. It looked like these members were not enough in the fight against the problem of drugs and illegal firearms in the country. It was stated that there was total of 231 arrests made on crimes related to illegal firearms and violence and 22 convictions. The question that should be asked is what happened to those that ended up not getting convicted.
Mr J Maake (ANC) was also interested in knowing what happened to those individuals that had not been convicted. The assumption could be that those individuals were still on trial, especially when one considered that they had just been arrested in 2016.
Mr L Ramatlakane (ANC) asked Lt Gen Ntlemeza to be specific on whether the new structure on the on the establishment of specialised units had already been approved as this was not clear from the presentation. If the structure had been approved, then when did this take place? Why did it take a year for the structure to be approved? Who was responsible for the finalisation of the structure? Who was not available to ensure that the structure was finalised and approved? He also wanted to know about what happened to those individuals still going through trial.
Mr P Mhlongo (EFF) wanted to know if the Committee could be provided with a relative breakdown of the 1 850 illegal firearms confiscated per province so as to have an understanding of which areas seemed to be heavily impacted by illegal firearms. Was there a level of cooperation between Interpol and the Hawks? It was scary to observe that weapons put in African Arab states might find route to SA if we were not prepared to strengthen these two specialised units. The Committee also heard that the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) was conducting an investigation on the drug syndicate involving SAPS members in OR Tambo International Airport. It would be interesting to hear from the Hawks on whether there was an element of truth in the matter.
Mr A Shaik-Emam (NFP) enquired about the process that was being taken in vetting and ensuring that the communities could have trust and confidence in these people serving in these units. The Hawks should be involved in a community outreach programme that would ensure that people were able to report criminal activities in their communities. The reality was that people did not report criminal activities because of this lack of trust between communities and SAPS members. It would be critically important for the Hawks to have further resources or equipment that would detect drugs in SA’s borders as this was where the problem was rife. In relation to vehicle theft, it was unclear if the Hawks had any engagements with international relations and neighbouring states in dealing decisively with this problem. He wanted to know if another Firearm Amnesty would be a useful tool in dealing with the issue of the massive number of illegal firearms in communities. It was clear that most of those arrests that had been undertaken were from repeat offenders. What was the system in place being used in the granting of bail? The Hawks should be working with the Department of Justice to ensure that those who were arrested of serious offences were not immediately granted bail and found on the streets the next day.
Mr Shaik-Emam asked if the Hawks were looking at a top-to-bottom approach or bottom-to-top approach in the fight against crime. In essence, were the Hawks looking first at dealing with hardened criminals before targeting those committing minor offences? It was evident the DPCI had some weaknesses in intelligence, particularly in dealing with hardened criminals.
Mr Z Mbhele (DA) wanted to know if all 90 people in the NBIFCPVC and 106 in SANEB throughout the country referred exclusively to investigators who are in those posts or also included those in administration or providing support service. The assumption was that the Hawks purely counted the investigative capacity but this should be confirmed by Lt Gen Ntlemeza. What was the thinking and rationale behind the provincial distribution in the capacity of SANEB? The 2016 crime statistics indicated that the Western Cape was the worst province largely affected by drug-related crime. It could be assumed that the provincial distribution of the capacity of SANEB would take into consideration these crucial indicators. The expectation was that there would be more capacity in the Western Cape for SANEB to deal with the problem of gang-related violence linked with drug syndicates in the area.
Mr Mbhele stated that the indication given to the Committee in the last meeting with the Hawks was that there would be a total of 120 personnel in both of the units established. However, the interim capacity of the two units was standing at 196 personnel and this could possibly increase. The question is why did the structure increase in this magnitude? It was unclear also if there would be a budget for this increased structure, especially since the Hawks did not receive additional funding from National Treasury.
Lt Gen Ntlemeza responded that the two units would utilise the capacity that was already available within the DPCI. It was indeed true that it was not enough for the Eastern Cape to only have three members within the NBIFCPVC and two from SANEF. The reality was that the Hawks would keep on relying on crime intelligence - there was very good cooperation between the Hawks and crime intelligence, especially when it comes to the issues of drugs, illegal firearms and other crime-related activities. The State Security Agency (SSA) was involved in the vetting of all members of the Hawks.
The Chairperson clarified that the question was specifically on whether Brigadiers and Colonels were being vetted.
Lt Gen Ntlemeza replied that some of them had already been vetted while others were in the process of being vetted. The structure of both of the established units was an interim one and members involved in these structures were from within the component of organised crime. The Hawks took a conscious decision in choosing specific members who would be involved in the interim structure. The whole issues of illegal firearms and drugs would be dealt with by the component of organised crime. The issue of conviction was not within the powers of the Hawks as it was the courts that were responsible for the conviction of those arrested. The processes in court were not under the control of the Hawks and this needed to be taken into consideration. It was true that the approval of the structure took a very long time but it must also be highlighted that the structure had now been approved. The Act of the Hawks was clear that the Head of the Hawks should be the one responsible for the recommendation of the structure but the Minister of Police and Department of Public Service and Administration (DPSA) were the ones responsible for the approval of the structure.
Lt Gen Ntlemeza explained that the structure had to be taken to the Acting National Commissioner for Police for perusal but this caused delays in the approval of the structure. It was clear that those cases where there were still no convictions were still being deliberated in court and the Hawks were not involved in that process. The Committee could be provided with a breakdown of the number of cases that were still in court and those that had been withdrawn. It was not automatic that there would be a conviction in any case that had been taken to a court. The Committee could also be provided with a relative breakdown of the 1 850 illegal firearms that were confiscated per province. The process of vetting members of DPCI was currently underway and this was a critically important process that needed to be followed. DPCI was involved in some campaigns that aimed at providing awareness to the general public from different provinces on the DPCI. All the vehicles of DPCI were clearly labelled and this was once again part of the marketing strategy. People from rural areas, like Eastern Cape and KZN, were now aware of the work of DPCI. DPCI was trying its level best to interact with Interpol but it must be clarified that there was a need for political intervention in order to deal with the problem of drugs and theft of vehicles at points of entry. The laws in other countries were not the same as SA’s – this made it complicated to deal with the problem of drugs and theft of vehicles.
Lt Gen Ntlemeza said there was a task-team in KZN that was aimed at dealing with the problem of theft of vehicles and pouring in of drugs. There was a strategic document in place that detailed how DPCI was planning to deal with the problem. The Firearm Amnesty could assist in the fight again illegal firearms as some people were still hiding illegal firearms. There was good cooperation between the DJCD and DPCI on ways to deal with the problem of repeat offenders. The members of SAPS were also involved in the approval of any parole. The systems of the National Prosecuting Agency (NPA), DJCD and SAPS should be able to talk to one another. DPCI was looking at the top-bottom approach in the fight against crime and conducting investigations. The members in the interim structure of the two established units would be working together with the members of organised crime provinces. The members who would be conducting investigations in these provinces would be assisted by the organised crime support unit of the provincial offices. It must be repeated that the structure provided today was an interim one and the DPCI had not started with the distribution of the resources. The distribution of resources would be very fair and would take into consideration a number of factors like crime statistics.
Ms Mmola asked for clarity on the person who was involved in the process of approving the structure of the established units. It was also unclear as to whether the approved structure of the established units was still going to be added or not.
Mr Maake wanted to know about how the structure of the established units would be capacitated and whether this would be a matter of shifting people from other positions or would it go through a proper recruitment process.
Mr Ramatlakane said the question on the status of those who had not appealed for the bail had not been answered. It was also unclear if the DPCI agreed with the bail conditions that had been given to those who were arrested. It would be important to know if the total of 436 arrests from March 2016 to 27 January on crimes related to drugs included those individuals that had been arrested and were about to appear in court. What was it exactly that was causing delays in the approval of the structure of the two established units? It looked like the DPCI was dependent on someone else in order for the structure to be approved and this would surely be a problem in terms of independence of the entity in dealing with investigations.
Mr Mhlongo requested DPCI to comment on the issue of SAPS members that were involved in a drug syndicate in OR Tambo International Airport. It looked like it would be impossible for the DPCI to achieve a high level of independence in order to be able to investigate crime even within SAPS members. The level of crime in the country was shocking and the presentation also painted a picture of some Nigerians that were involved in bringing drugs in the country and this was totally unacceptable.
Mr Shaik-Emam enquired about the stumbling blocks that were faced by the DPCI in dealing with the issue of drugs and other priority crimes. There should be a nationwide approach that was focused on fighting drugs and vehicle theft in the country. It was true that the DPCI required political intervention in dealing with neighbouring states but the country also needed to “beef-up” systems in place on reporting vehicle theft from the point of entry.
Mr Mbhele commented that he was not entirely pleased with the responses provided by Lt Gen Ntlemeza so far. The announcement of the establishment of the two units came as a result of the marked decline in the seizure of drug operations by DPCI.
Lt Gen Ntlemeza clarified that there were two Brigadiers at national level and these Brigadiers were section heads. The members in the interim structure would be assisted by the whole of organised crime, as indicated before. In essence, there was a broader structure that would provide assistance to members in the interim structure of the established units. The members in the interim structure of the units were from organised crime unit and this meant that there was no additional budget utilised. The DPCI was not aware of the claim by IPID that SAPS and Hawks members were fighting for control of illegal drugs at OR Tambo International Airport. The reality was that it was only the approval of the Minister for the establishment of the structure that was necessary and not that of the Acting National Commissioner. He also stated outright that he did not see “eye to eye” with the Acting National Commissioner, so that caused the delay in the approval of the structure. There was a need for the DPCI to be independent and this would include having a separate budget.
Briefing by DPCI on Politically-Motivated Cases in KZN
Lt Gen Ntlemeza briefly stated that most of the cases identified happened before and after the 2016 local government elections. There were a total of 48 politically-motivated reported cases in KZN and murders were 28 with 28 arrests. There were 13 cases of attempted murder and 2 arrests and 4 cases of arson with 12 arrests. There were five cases of assault and pointing of a firearm with seven arrests. Some of the cases were still in court while others were still under investigation. There was a multidisciplinary task-team formulated after the local elections that was specifically mandated to deal with these political-motivated cases in KZN.
Ms Mmola asked about reasons for the withdrawal of some of the serious cases like murder as reflected in the presentation. What was the meaning of “declined to prosecute” as reflected in the presentation?
Mr Mhlongo was concerned about the case of a Chief that was executed in a terrible and heartless manner in Emandeni, KZN. It was good to see that the Head of DPCI actually visited the area although there was still no “green light” on the case. The fact that there were no arrests being made of the callous criminals terrorising the communities could perpetuate the problem of vigilantism or mob justice. It was impossible to convince communities not to resort to mob justice when they felt unprotected by the police. It was clear there were heartless and well-organised assassins hired to kill people for political gain. Organised crime should stamp its authority in ensuring those assassins were given the heaviest penalties. These reported cases of local councillors being gunned down or on the “hit-list” were usually those who were opposed to endemic corruption in these areas.
Mr Ramatlakane wanted to know about the crime intelligence capacity in KZN in order to be able to deal with these cases - the reason for asking this question was that there was a long list of suspects regarded as unknown. The crime intelligence unit should be assisting in ensuring perpetrators were being arrested. DPCI should also be working with communities in order to build the trust with the general public, ultimately improving crime reporting. These assassins were living in the communities and it would be the responsibility of DPCI to build a strong relationship with the broader community of KZN, particularly in those areas where these killings were rife. What were the other extraordinary measures being undertaken to ensure there was a breakthrough in arresting perpetrators? It looked like the DPCI did not entirely agree these killings were politically-motivated. The important question is what we can name these killings, as they were planned, thought-through and executed in the same fashion.
Mr Ramatlakane commented that communities can see that the state was not capacitated enough to make a “break-through” in these killings and they were also most likely to withhold information that could lead to the identification of a perpetrator. The brief presentation by the DPCI did not mention ways to get to the bottom of these killings. There were effective ways of “breaking-through” this problem in KZN, as it had been done with gang violence in the Western Cape. The cases withdrawn because of lack of sufficient evidence implied there was a lack adequate information presented in court that could potentially lead to the conviction of the individual arrested. It was impossible to assume there was no suspect when someone was shot and killed - the police needed to conduct due diligence to arrest perpetrators.
The Chairperson enquired about the doctrine that was being used for the distribution of case dockets to the warrant officers, especially when dealing with complicated cases. DPCI must be commended for doing very well in terms of catching corrupt police officers. It was unclear if DPCI was getting adequate support from crime intelligence in terms of arresting perpetrators in these politically motivated killings.
Mr M Mncwango (IFP) said that the fact that there was an overload of case dockets to be dealt with by warrant officers could be contributing to police’s failure to make any “break-through” in these cases. There were situations where a warrant office would be handling case dockets from different remote rural areas.
Lt Gen Ntlemeza responded that it was indeed true that there were situations where a warrant officer would have to handle a number of case dockets. However, there was a multidisciplinary task team able to provide assistance to the warrant officer in dealing with case dockets. There were members from Crime Intelligence in the task team that were providing assistance to DPCI. In short, there was support coming from crime intelligence in supporting the operations of the DPCI. It was also true that there must be a suspect if someone had been shot and killed - it was totally unacceptable to have cases where a suspect was unknown. Crime Intelligence was responsible for the collection of information to be provided to detectives in the aftermath of a crime. The responsibility of Crime Intelligence was to collect the information that may lead to the arrest of a suspect not to conduct an investigation or arrest anyone.
Mr Jabulani Zikhali, Provincial Head of DPCI: KZN, clarified that in cases where a suspect was unknown it meant there was no information coming through that could potentially lead to the arrest of the perpetrator of the killing.
Lt Gen Ntlemeza explained there are many causes for the withdrawal of the cases and one of them was when the complainant was no longer interested in pursuing the case further. There were also situations where the case would be withdrawn because the suspect was not found or unknown. The Crime Intelligence capacity in KZN was there and even the Provincial Head of Crime Intelligence was working together with the Provincial Head of DPCI in KZN. The issue of lack of reporting of these killings by community members was a worrying factor. The interaction with the community worked very well in the Western Cape in the fight against crime - SAPS and DPCI were also doing their best to strengthen the relationship with community members. The details of the case on the killing of a Chief in Emandeni, KZN could not be disclosed to the Committee at the moment as it was about to be before court. The DPCI totally discouraged the use of mob justice or any form of vigilantism against suspected criminals - this could be prevented by working hand-in-hand with community members.
The Chairperson asked whether the fact that DPCI was sometimes “roped-in” as a last resort to investigate a number of organised crimes had any impact on its resources. The question was primarily to check if DPCI had enough resources to combat organised crime and also achieve its mandate as a unit.
Mr Maake wanted to know what had happened to the case of murder of the late Mr Senzo Meyiwa and whether the Hawks had any progress in this regard. What could have happened if the Hawks had investigated the case?
Mr Mncwango noted that DPCI was most often called in as a last resort in investigating a particular crime yet the entity did not have its own crime intelligence capacity within its structure- this capacity was vital for resolving intricate cases. Members should be firm in calling politically motivated cases as that but should also ascertain whether there had been any political intervention in resolving these killings. He suggested DPCI should perhaps ask for political intervention.
Mr Mhlongo felt the DPCI was supposed to be a small elite unit that would be dealing with intricate organised crime and not someone pointing someone else with a firearm. The Hawks should not be dealing with “petty” crime that could be dealt with by the detectives in a particular jurisdiction. He humorously said that the Hawks seemed to be chasing lizards while leaving the crocodiles to terrorise the communities. The number of local councillors that were killed in KZN within a short space of time was like a declared war. The Committee should do something to ensure the Hawks were able to have its own crime intelligence capacity.
Mr Ramatlakane pointed out that there were some really old cases that were being dealt with by the DPCI, some as old as April 2016, - this was caused by lack of evidence that could lead to an arrest. It would be important to ask Lt Gen Ntlemeza if there was hope that these cases would ever be resolved. There was enough capacity within the Hawks and there were also a lot of technological innovations that could be used to track these criminals who were involved in these senseless killings.
Mr Mncwango asked if the Hawks were using the witness protection service in order to encourage community members to report crime or criminals and protect the witnesses. The withdrawal of cases like assault, grievous bodily harm and pointing of a firearm was also particularly concerning as these were the serious cases.
Lt Gen Ntlemeza replied that DPCI currently had a total of 2 290 personnel throughout the country while the full complement of personnel was supposed to be 3 396 in terms of the establishment. Therefore, the issue of capacity was a major challenge. It should be remembered that the investigation of the pointing of a firearm was not only being investigated by DPCI but by a multidisciplinary task team. The pointing of a firearm could be regarded as a serious crime in the context of a branch meeting of a political party. The case of Mr Meyiwa was known by everybody but the Hawks were never permanently involved in the case. There could have been a different result if the case was immediately handed over to the Hawks from the beginning. The case of Meyiwa was not currently within the Hawks but the Detectives Programme of SAPS. It would be ideal for the Hawks to have its own crime intelligence capacity in order to be able to independently investigate these organised crimes.
Lt Gen Ntlemeza clarified that the Hawks were often seen as the last hope of the people in investigating cases of organised crime. There was a need for political intervention for the investigation of cases of political killings as politicians were already meeting with community members in KZN in order to get to the bottom of the problem of these killings. The Hawks were using the witness protection service and this had been effective in the protection of witnesses.
The Chairperson welcomed the fact that the structure of the two established units had been officially approved and the Committee would further interrogate the progress that would be made in this regard in terms of budget allocation.
The meeting was adjourned.
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