15 arrested for politically motivated murders - Hawks

2016-08-23 18:35
Berning Ntlemeza (Tammy Petersen, News24)

Berning Ntlemeza (Tammy Petersen, News24)

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Cape Town – Fifteen people have been arrested for political killings nationally, Hawks head Lieutenant General Berning Ntlemeza told Parliament's police committee on Tuesday.

The Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation was briefing the committee on its vacancies, high profile cases and some of its successes.

Replying to a question from committee chairperson Francois Beukman, Ntlemeza told the committee that 18 people were killed in the build-up to the local government elections.

KwaZulu-Natal had 13 fatalities, followed by the Eastern Cape with two and one each in the Northern Cape, Mpumalanga and the North West.

He said of the 15 arrested suspects, two were in KwaZulu-Natal and another arrest had been in the Northern Cape.

He did not specify where the other 13 arrests had been made, except to say it "was around the country".

700 vacant posts

FF Plus MP Pieter Groenewald asked the general how he defined political killings and whether they looked at motive or party affiliation.

Ntlemeza said they would have to look at a proper definition and give it to the committee.

But, he said, if a murder occurred at a church, people would call it an "Anglican Church murder", and it was the same with politically motivated murders.

The Hawks were also asked to brief the committee on their progress in filling the 700 vacant posts in the entity.

Ntlemeza told the committee that in the 2016/17 financial year, 155 posts were filled in the first quarter, while 10 posts were withdrawn. 

Of the 545 posts remaining, 95 posts were advertised, interviews conducted and appointments were currently being processed.


A total of 70 posts were currently being advertised to be filled in the 2016/17 financial year, he said, while 380 posts were yet to be advertised.

He also briefed the committee on some of their operational successes since April this year, which included the arrest of the Thulsie twins on suspicion of terrorism related crimes.

He said this was the first case in the country where South African citizens were associated with the Islamic State.

Their successes also included 1 164 arrests with 213 convictions.

In one case, he said, seven suspects were sentenced to a total of 271 years imprisonment for serial rape and violent crimes.

Seizures included R220m worth of drugs, abalone valued at R57m and R16m in precious metal and diamonds.

Read more on:    hawks  |  berning ntlemeza  |  cape town  |  crime  |  parliament 2016

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