Acting Hawks boss Berning Ntlemeza 'threatened' anti-corruption colleagues

20 September 2019 - 11:59 By AMIL UMRAW
Former Hawks boss Berning Ntlemeza.
Former Hawks boss Berning Ntlemeza.
Image: Sowetan/Antonio Muchave

One of Berning Ntlemeza's first actions as acting Hawks boss in 2014 was to threaten members of the Anti-Corruption Task Team (ACTT) with legal action and suspension should they defy his instructions. 

This is according to seasoned Hawks investigator Col Kobus Roelofse who described to the state capture inquiry on Friday a meeting in which Ntlemeza allegedly threatened his colleagues.  

He said when Ntlemeza was appointed acting head in 2014, he visited divisions in KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape. 

“He called a meeting. He didn’t see the provincial commanders, he called a meeting specifically with the ACTT. He met with us on that day [in late 2014, early 2015]. He addressed us,” Roelofse said.

“He informed the meeting that if anyone had to challenge his decisions, he would suspend them and if they wanted to take him on, he would get his senior counsel to fight their senior counsel until that person runs out of funds.”

Roelofse said he was “taken aback” by Ntlemeza's comments. 

“It was the first time that he as the acting head of [the Hawks] spoke to anyone and he said that. It created that climate within [the Hawks] that you will do what I say or you will be transferred or I will suspend you. He will appoint counsel on state funds to fight you on your own money,” Roelofse said. 

His testimony is continuing.