Top cop cleared of racketeering returns to work

2014-09-22 10:52

Suspended KwaZulu-Natal Hawks head Major-General Johan Booysen is expected to report for work today.

“He was acquitted of all charges. I think he will be reporting for work this morning,” said Booysen’s lawyer Carl van der Merwe.

Booysen was charged in August 2012 for racketeering, involving allegedly receiving payment to carry out hits in the KwaZulu-Natal minibus taxi wars.

Earlier this year, all criminal charges against him were withdrawn.

However, police pursued disciplinary charges against him which were linked to his alleged failure to act against members of the Cato Manor serious and violent crimes unit for their alleged excessive use of force.

KwaZulu-Natal’s newspapers were today dominated by news of Booysen’s acquittal and extracts from a report by advocate Nazeer Cassim, SC, who had detailed his findings from the police’s internal inquiry in the report.

The Mercury’s front page led with the headline “Top cops in plot to shaft Booysen”, while The Witness newspaper’s front page was headlined “The plot to nail top hawk”.

The Mercury quoted Cassim saying in his report that: “The facts demonstrate an agenda to get rid of Booysen because he was perceived (rightly so I may add) as a determined, professional, competent and tenacious policeman who would arduously strive to bring wrongdoers to book.”

According to The Mercury, Cassim cleared Booysen of all wrongdoing. The Witness reported that Cassim’s report was critical of a number of senior police officers, including national police commissioner Riah Phiyega and KwaZulu-Natal provincial commissioner Mmamonnye Ngobeni.

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