Acting Hawks boss rushes to appoint 'friends and cronies'

Acting Hawks boss rushes to appoint 'friends and cronies'

Senior officers excluded from selection committees. By Glynis Underhill.

When in March Judge Elias Matojane of the North Gauteng (Pretoria) High Court described acting Hawks boss Major-General Mthandazo Berning Ntlemeza as “biased and dishonest” and “lacking integrity and honour” for making false statements under oath in court, it was expected this would be his undoing. Yet no action was taken against the man in charge of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigations (DPCI) despite opposition calls for his axing.

(Ntlemeza had applied for leave to appeal a court finding that his suspension of Gauteng Hawks head Shadrack Sibiya was unlawful.)

But Ntlemeza remains secure in the knowledge that he enjoys high-level political backing, say senior Hawks members. He has recently fast-tracked around 60 promotions and appointments, sidelined experienced people, and suspended key senior Hawks figures. Particularly controversial has been the composition of the selection panels he has appointed to interview and select candidates for these jobs.

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