Acting head a victim of false reporting - Hawks

2015-01-13 15:10


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Johannesburg - The Hawks on Tuesday criticised the City Press for an article it published about acting Hawks head Major General Mthandazo Berning Ntlemeza.

"There has been an atrocious disregard for the truth in the portrayal of General Ntlemeza and a total misrepresentation of his character and service," Hawks spokesperson Hangwani Mulaudzi said in a statement.

"The article invalidly stated that he [Ntlemeza] collected former crime intelligence head Richard Mdluli's docket and is reshuffling the senior officers. For the record, Mdluli was never discussed nor the so-called mass movement of senior officers."

City Press editor Ferial Haffajee said the paper stood by its story.

On Sunday, it reported that Ntlemeza travelled to Cape Town to collect the docket relating to the investigation into Mdluli.

In an opinion piece on another page, the newspaper reported Ntlemeza was an ally of Mdluli's.

"It is our observation that General Ntlemeza's accusers have been motivated by their own partisan or personal agendas," said Mulaudzi.

"Such elements threaten to compromise the wider public stake in our activities for their own selfish interests. We are especially disappointed that the City Press became a willing channel of anonymous mischief."

Haffajee said the story was based on several sources.

"We sourced it within many interest groups in the police and in the Hawks and some of our sources were in the meeting when the changes were mooted," she said.

She was referring to Ntlemeza's first Hawks staff meeting that two of City Press's sources attended.

At the meeting, Ntlemeza allegedly told staff he was "in charge until further notice" and that he had removed all heads of forums because he was "capacitating" the unit.

The heads were replaced with other officers. The newspaper reported that the forums were 12 specialised sub-units within the Hawks that deal with corruption, tobacco smuggling, and organised crime.

Hawks boss Anwa Dramat was suspended on 23 December, pending a probe into his alleged involvement in facilitating the illegal rendition of Zimbabweans in November 2010.

City Press reported that Dramat had been overseeing the Mdluli investigation at the time. The newspaper reported that Mdluli and other officers were being investigated for allegedly plundering a crime intelligence fund to buy themselves properties and luxury cars.

In 2012, Ntlemeza compiled a report which was submitted to the Boksburg Magistrate's Court at a murder inquest involving Mdluli. The inquest was into the killing of Mdluli's ex-lover's husband Oupa Ramogiba in 1999.

According to Ntlemeza's report the re-opening of the 13-year-old murder case was part of a plot within crime intelligence to stop Mdluli's promotion to the head of the department.

Read more on:    city press  |  hawks  |  richard mdluli  |  anwa dramat  |  ferial haffajee  |  johannesburg  |  media
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