Hawks boss took 'armed posse' to suspend Booysen

2015-09-15 16:40
(Matthew Middleton, News24)

(Matthew Middleton, News24)

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Durban - Newly appointed Hawks head Berning Ntlemeza, girded by a posse of high ranking officers and armed tactical response team police, travelled to Durban to suspend KwaZulu-Natal Hawks head Johan Booysen.

It is understood that he spent a large part of Tuesday afternoon briefing Hawks officers at the police headquarters.

This was after it was confirmed that Booysen had been suspended, the fourth attempt to remove him from office.

While Booysen's legal team confirmed it would urgently oppose the decision to remove him from office, political backlash to his ousting picked up steam.

The DA’s Dianne Kohler Barnard said the career policeman had been suspended "without an iota of evidence" provided by Ntlemeza.

"I will again write to the portfolio committee on police asking that Parliament be briefed on the rationale of such a suspension and press the committee to place this at the top of the agenda at its next sitting.

"This latest move by the Hawks head and the police minister is manifestly irrational and must now be probed. In fact, Mr Ntlemeza shouldn't be in the position to suspend anyone at the Hawks given his very appointment is, in itself, born from the same manifest irrationality," she said.

Cope spokesperson Dennis Bloem said serious questions needed to be posed to the police minister.

"It is disconcerting that the first item on Ntlemeza's agenda, after being appointed as head of the Hawks, was to suspend Johan Booysen. Is this a further step to protect President Jacob Zuma?" he asked.

"If this suspension is once again challenged in court and the judge finds Ntlemeza to have used spurious grounds for this suspension, it will be egg on the face for [Police] Minister Nathi Nhleko,” he said.

Read more on:    hawks  |  johan booysen  |  berning ntlemeza

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