Hawks face off the Doves

2014-12-28 16:00

In 1988, Anwa Dramat was sentenced in an ­apartheid court for his role as an Umkhonto ­weSizwe operative.

Later, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission heard evidence from a security branch police officer, Jeffrey Benzien, about how he had tortured activists – and Dramat was among them.

This week, Hawks boss Dramat was put on precautionary suspension for two months, pending allegations that he illegally rendered suspects to the Zimbabwean police.

He has consistently denied the allegations since they emerged in 2010 – witness statements made to back up his denials were not accepted by police investigators.

Major General Benny Ntlemeza, who heads the Hawks in Limpopo, will act in Dramat’s place.

By all accounts, Ntlemeza is an officer who served apartheid and has risen in a post-apartheid police service. He is also the writer of an internal report that found that Lieutenant General Richard Mdluli (on leave) was not guilty of murdering his love rival, Oupa Ramogibe.

Mdluli, a former security branch police officer, and Ntlemeza are allies in a war to control crime-­fighting in South Africa.

Apartheid-era police officers are more politically malleable than cadres like Dramat, who were taught to stand their ground by the liberation movements.

It’s messy and it’s dirty. We have to live with the outcomes as crime grows rampant while cop fights cop.

Dramat has been iced for one of two reasons, or perhaps for both. With him out of the way, the police top brass can get rid of KwaZulu-Natal Hawks boss Johan Booysen. They have failed repeatedly because Dramat would not cooperate. Earlier this month, a Durban High Court judge ordered that Booysen could not be transferred or suspended.

Booysen headed the Cato Manor squad that is ­alleged to have conducted a reign of terror and killed innocent victims. The other view of him is that he investigated numerous instances of corruption among Durban’s political elite and is being targeted for this.

The second possible reason for Dramat’s suspension is that the Hawks are likely to be called upon to investigate fraud, corruption and criminal charges against Mdluli. The high court in Pretoria ordered the charges to be reinstated after his cronies across the criminal justice system got them shelved in one mock investigation after another. Mdluli will be back in court in the middle of next year.

In addition to murder, Mdluli faces multiple charges related to the plundering of the crime intelligence slush fund. He was head of police crime intelligence ­until he was suspended.

With his man now in charge of the Hawks, Mdluli can continue his game of chess with the legal system.

It is common cause that he seeks the job of national police commissioner and it seems he has the political support despite his very chequered past.

At some point, Mdluli wrote the Ground Coverage report alleging that President Jacob Zuma faced plots from inside the ANC. Since then, he has enjoyed significant influence – perhaps even the influence to still determine who is suspended and who is appointed.

In this atmosphere, it’s worth examining who the Hawks of corruption are and who the Doves trying to fight it are.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.