Clean-up needed within law enforcement agencies, Zondo commission hears

Johannesburg – “Unless they get rid of the rotten apples within the NPA, police and the Hawks we are doomed.”

These were the closing remarks of former KwaZulu-Natal Hawks head Johan Booysen when he concluded his evidence at the Zondo commission on Friday. 

The General told deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo that a bigger clean-up is needed within the country’s law enforcement agencies in order for them to start serving the needs of the country instead of political interests. 

“They can change the head of the Hawks, they can change the head of the NPA, they can change state president, but as long as these people remain there, I will be proven right. It happened with Nxasana. Mr Nxasana felt the brunt of a cable within the NPA. I felt the brunt of the cable within the Hawks", Booysen said. 

Booysen testified for four days at the inquiry and detailed his experience of what he called state capture within the Hawks. 

He held back tears as he described how he was “attacked” by those who were meant to protect him. He was suspended several times during his term as Hawks head in KZN. 

He even faced criminal charges. 

“I really appreciate this opportunity after seven years of attacks from people who were supposed to protect me,” Booysen said while appearing visibly emotional. 

Booysen’s testimony this week focused on the characters that he alleged were behind the capturing of law enforcement agencies. He named former NPA head advocate Shaun Abrahams and his former deputy advocate Nomgcobo Jiba as central players in blocking the prosecutions of politically connected individuals such as former crime intelligence boss Richard Mdluli. 

He also named a string of prosecutors who he said were tasked with bringing cases against those who were against state capture. 

Booysen also detailed his encounters with his former boss General Berning Ntlemeza who he accused of hijacking processes within the Hawks. 

He said “all hell broke loose” when Ntlemeza was appointed in 2014. 

The commission heard how promotions within Saps were often tied to patronage. 

Booysen also detailed how met Tony Gupta at the Gupta family’s compound in Saxonworld after he was taken there by Duduzane Zuma. He said Gupta knew that he was shortlisted for the Hawks position, however, he said no favours were offered to him. 

He previously detailed how former KZN police commissioner Mmamonnye Ngobeni pressured him to stop a corruption investigation against a Durban businessman. 

The commission was told how incriminating documents related to a criminal case against Mdluli were removed from a police docket. 

Zondo thanked Booysen for his evidence but stressed that more people within the law enforcement agencies need to come forward and detail any allegations of corruption. 

He said these details about issues within law enforcement were crucial in solving the problem plaguing the units. 

“I am hoping that more people within the sector will come forward. If we do not have a proper law enforcement agency then we don’t have a country, it is critical, that if things are not done properly (within the police) that this commission can make recommendations,” Zondo said. 

The commission is expected to hear from other witnesses in relation to the law enforcement aspect of the state capture investigation. 

The commission resumes on Monday. 


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