Police committee calls for independent probe into Hawks after Jonas's explosive testimony
Parliament’s portfolio committee on police has called for an independent investigation into the conduct of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI)‚ more popularly referred to as the Hawks.
The committee said on Saturday it had noted with serious concern the allegations made on Friday in relation to the conduct of high-ranking officials of the DPCI at the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into allegations of state capture.
Former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas made a bombshell revelation at the state-capture commission of inquiry on Friday about how the Hawks attempted to deliberately sabotage the investigation into the Guptas attempt to bribe him.
The former deputy minister of finance said the head of the Hawks anti-corruption unit allegedly tried to force him to sign a false statement to halt the police investigation into the Guptas’ attempt to promote him to finance minister in October 2015.
Jonas told Judge Raymond Zondo that he refused to sign a draft statement presented to him by Major-General Zinhle Mnonopi‚ who said they wanted to “kill the case” as it was a “DA matter”.
He said Mnonopi told him‚ in the presence of his lawyer‚ “there is no case here”.
Chairperson of Parliament’s portfolio committee on police Francois Beukman said it was imperative that members of the DPCI‚ especially high-ranking members‚ should act without fear or favour to uphold the law‚ and that any dereliction of that duty should be properly investigated.
He noted that in terms of Section 17 L (4) (a) of the SAPS Act any member of the public who could provide evidence of serious and unlawful infringement of his or her rights caused by an investigation of the DPCI could bring a compliant to the DPCI Judge.
The current DPCI Judge is Judge Frans Kgomo‚ former Judge President of the Northern Cape Provincial Division of the High Court.
Beukman said while the committee acknowledged that the proceedings of the commission were still underway and that testimony would still be subjected to cross-examination and findings would be made by the commission‚ any serious allegations against DPCI members should be urgently investigated by the relevant authorities.
“The DPCI should lead in the fight against corruption and any allegations that comprise their role should be subject to independent investigation‚” said Beukman.
“The committee’s view is that the Head of the DPCI‚ General Geoffrey Lebeya‚ should also‚ as a matter of priority‚ launch an internal inquiry into the allegations‚” he added.