Booysen wins round one vs Hawks

2012-02-25 00:00

THE Hawks’ commander in KwaZulu-Natal has won the first round against plans to suspend him.

The Hawks have agreed to a court order forcing them to provide General-Major Johan Booysen with further particulars before a decision is taken about his suspension.

Only five days ago Lieutenant-General Anwa Dramat, national head of the Hawks, said in a two-paragraph letter that he was informed that Booysen had been provided with sufficient information to be able to respond to his intended suspension.

Booysen is accused of serious misconduct amid allegations that some members of the police’s unit against organised crime at Cato Manor acted like a “murder squad”.

Police said Booysen did not act after receiving information that certain of the detectives were guilty of serious misconduct.

The police argue that these members used excessive violence when they shot and killed taxi owner Bongani Mkhize, suspec­ted of murdering a chief, in February 2009. These members were also guilty of “general illegal acts” during that incident.

In court papers Booysen said he went to the scene of the shooting after hearing about it and immediately ordered the Indepen­dent Complaints Directorate (ICD) to be called. As far as he knew the ICD was still investigating the incident.

Booysen pointed out that Colonel Rajen Aiyer was the direct commander of Cato Manor’s detectives at the time.

Booysen asked for clarification on when he neglected to take action, what information regarding illegal acts was allegedly brought to his attention, and who told him about these acts.

He said the allegations are too vague to be able to respond meaningfully to them.

Booysen submitted the application against Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa, acting police chief Lieutenant-General Nhlanhla Mkhwanazi, and Dramat.

Monagie Pillai, representing the minister and police bosses, agreed yesterday to supply the desired information by March 1.

Booysen has been given seven days to respond.

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