'It is our time to eat' - Ntlemeza allegedly told investigator in charge of Mdluli probe

2019-09-19 22:11
Former Hawks head Berning Ntlemeza. (Antonio Muchave, Gallo Images, Sowetan)

Former Hawks head Berning Ntlemeza. (Antonio Muchave, Gallo Images, Sowetan)

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Senior Hawks investigator Colonel Kobus Roelofse told the commission of inquiry into state capture that former Hawks head Berning Ntlemeza did not want him to investigate former crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli on fraud and corruption charges. 

Roelofse was testifying for a third day before inquiry chairperson Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo on Thursday. 

He claimed when he informed Ntlemeza about the Mdluli investigation and what they were able to uncover, the former Hawks head "became very angry". 

ALSO READ: Richard Mdluli 'frustrated' investigations into abuse of secret service account

"That triggered the reaction where he asked me who gave us the authority and why are we investigating. He was very angry and said, 'I can't trust you'. He didn't really say I can't investigate. It was clear to me he didn't want me to continue with investigations."

Roelofse said although he was not quoting Ntlemeza verbatim, his recollection of what he said was that "it is now our time to eat". 

"He said it happened in the previous government, people stole and why am I now investigating this. He said … it is now our time to eat." 

Mdluli faced charges of fraud, theft and corruption for allegedly pillaging the crime intelligence slush fund. The charges were withdrawn in 2011. 

READ MORE: Richard Mdluli allegedly looted Crime Intelligence secret service account, state capture inquiry hears

"He [Ntlemeza] was a friend of General Mdluli … I wasn't surprised that he didn't want us to continue [with the investigations]. I was surprised with the reason that he used," Roelofse said.   

"I remember him vividly standing up and grabbing his jacket and sitting back down again and saying, 'I can only work with people I can trust'. To me it was not the type of reaction I expected." 

Roelofse is expected to return to the commission on Friday.

Read more on:    hawks  |  richard mdluli  |  berning ntlemeza  |  zondo commission of inquiry
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