A Hawks investigator says the threat did not go down well and that he does not know if Ntlemeza understands its seriousness. The commission of inquiry into state capture heard on Friday that, soon after his appointment, former Hawks head Berning Ntlemeza allegedly threatened subordinates that they would face repercussions should they challenge his decisions.
The commission was hearing law enforcement-related evidence from Hawks investigator Colonel Kobus Roelofse, who said Ntlemeza was appointed soon after General Anwa Dramat was relieved of his duties on December 23, 2014.
Roelofse said the first thing Ntlemeza did after his appointment was to visit Hawks branches in the provinces of KwaZulu-Natal and the Western Cape either in late 2014 or early 2015. However, Roelofse said he could not recall which province Ntlemeza visited first.
During these visits, Ntlemeza did not meet with the respective provincial commanders, but rather convened meetings with the anti-corruption task teams in the provinces, the commission heard.
Roelofse said during one of the meetings in the Western Cape, Ntlemeza addressed attendees and said something he, Roelofse, found to be concerning.
“He informed the meeting – now that includes junior officers as well – he informed them that if anyone wanted to challenge his decisions, he would suspend them,” Roelofse told the commission.
He added that Ntlemeza further said that in the case of such a suspension, if anyone took the matter to court “he would get his SC [senior counsel] to fight their SC until that person runs out of funds”.
“He then further said even if that person was successful in challenging his decisions he would in any event transfer the person out of the DPCI [Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation AKA Hawks],” Roelofse said, adding that he was “taken aback” by Ntlemeza’s threat.
He added that he did not know what prompted Ntlemeza to utter these words, but “it created that climate within the DPCI that you will do what I say, or you will be transferred, or I will suspend you”.
Roelofse said Ntlemeza was suggesting that he would make use of state funds to appoint his own SC “to fight you with your pension, with your money”.
“It didn’t go down well and I don’t know if he understands the seriousness of what he said at the time,” Roelofse told the commission.
“He was basically saying ‘financially I will ruin you’,” Roelofse added.
He had earlier told the commission that at some stage Ntlemeza effectively halted the continuation of or hindered the progress into investigations into the alleged abuse of the crime intelligence slush fund.
Roelofse says General Ntlemeza had effectively stopped any continuation or progress in respect of not only this investigation, but all other investigations regarding the alleged abuse of CI funds.#StateCaptureInquiry
— State Capture Commission (@StateCaptureCom) September 20, 2019
The commission adjourned for the day on Friday and will resume on this coming Monday at 2pm.
In other news – Anthony Mackie cancels Comic Con Africa appearance for second year in a row
Marvel’s Falcon actor, Anthony Mackie, will no longer be attending Comic Con Africa 2019. The news comes one week after Game of Thrones star Isaac Hempstead Wright (Bran) cancelled his appearance at the comic book convention.
Unlike the 2018 event which occurred over three days, this time around, Comic Con will span four days from 21 to 24 September at Gallagher Convention Centre in Midrand.
Comic Con Africa tweeted on Friday: “Unfortunately due to a production delay in Budapest Anthony Mackie will no longer be attending Comic Con Africa.” continue reading