Hawks say it has given NPA head more than 1 800 'trial-ready' cases

2019-07-03 21:17
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Hawks boss Godfrey Lebeya confirmed on Wednesday the elite crime-fighting unit is working on more than 18 000 dockets with 1 817 of them already having been submitted to the head of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), Shamila Batohi, for further action.

Addressing the portfolio committee on police, Lebeya gave committee members a general overview of the organisation he has been at the helm of since June last year.

Upon his appointment, he was tasked by Police Minister Bheki Cele to undertake a "fundamental assessment" of the Hawks, eventually leading him to the conclusion that there was a need to re-engineer the unit.

Some of the findings Lebeya shared with the committee were that there was "stagnation of investigation of cases, where there was little guidance by some commanders", an "incoherent organisational structure" and "... integrity and disciplinary matters, some of which may have already been noted at the Zondo commission".

"Looking at the workload ... there is no less than 18 086 cases ... in terms of the counts, because one case may have more than 100 counts, you talk of more than 83 000 counts and some of our investigations that we have already put before the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) for a decision are 1 817 [sic].

"We expect that soon the DPP will be making a decision on these matters that are ready from an investigation point of view," he added.     

Due to the sensitive nature of the matters, operational details and specifics pertaining to the investigations were not shared with the committee. 

News24 previously reported, however, that Lebeya had told the committee, during the fifth Parliament's term, that the Hawks were keeping a watchful eye on proceedings at the commission of inquiry into state capture, which is chaired by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo. 

He said the Hawks had a colonel with a watching brief present at the commission.

Lebeya said the Hawks were investigating several cases related to alleged Gupta-led state capture, including facilities management company Bosasa, now known as African Global Operations, which was fingered in multiple bribery and corruption claims by former COO Angelo Agrizzi

"Wherever there is information that can assist an investigation, we'll be dealing with that," Lebeya said at the time.

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