Awareness raised about Hawks watchdog

2016-03-15 17:30


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Cape Town – Police Minister Nathi Nhleko has launched the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI) office of the judge in a bid to raise awareness about its work.

The DPCI judge’s office was launched in Parliament on Tuesday where various police officials stressed the need for its oversight role to be supported.

The DCPI judge’s office receives and investigates complaints from any member of the public who can provide evidence of a serious and unlawful infringement of his or her rights caused by an investigation by the DPCI (the Hawks).

The office also investigates complaints from members of the DPCI regarding improper influence or interference when conducting an investigation.

Nhleko said there was no point in having the office if members of the public did not know about it. He said it was important to inform South Africans that they could approach the office to lay complaints.

'Transparency, accountability, integrity'

Retired Judge Essa Moosa, who runs the office, said they had not received any complaints from the public so far.

Hawks boss, General Berning Ntlemeza, said he would not be exempt from any investigation by the judge’s office, if a complaint was laid against him.

Ntlemeza said transparency, accountability and integrity were essential. He said the fight against corruption was a major item on the agenda.

“We therefore urge our communities to use this arm of the government if they find fault with us, rather than using media platforms,” he said.

He took a swipe at the media. “Don’t get me wrong, my good friends from the media. We love our media. However, we have noticed that there is some within the media that are driving a negative agenda to undermine the work of the Hawks,” he said.

The Hawks have been in the spotlight lately over a stand-off with Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan.

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