Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Hawks' KZN boss faces suspension

Hawks' KZN boss faces suspension
CANAAN MDLETSHE and NIVASHNI NAIR | 16 February, 2012 00:33

Image by: Halden Krog / The Times
KwaZulu-Natal Hawks boss Major-General Johan Booysen is facing suspension and his unit, Durban's so-called police hit squad, has been shut down.

But the developments in the investigation that led to his pending suspension will not be made public.

Hawks national spokesman McIntosh Polela yesterday confirmed that Booysen had been served with notice of intent to suspend him and that he had been given five days to respond to "certain allegations".

Polela refused to elaborate on the allegations and said the Hawks did not plan to go public with Booysen's response.

"It is true that there are new developments but we would not like to elaborate on this because we would like to give General Booysen the dignity and respect to involve himself in an internal process," Polela said.

"Only after this process has been exhausted would we be at liberty to comment about it. This is an internal process."

Polela confirmed that Hawks head Anwa Dramat had permanently disbanded Booysen's Cato Manor unit and that its 24 officers would be transferred to the head office in Durban.

The KwaZulu-Natal head of crime intelligence, Major-General Deena Moodley, has also been served with a notice of intent to suspend him on an allegation unrelated to the Cato Manor unit.

Booysen and the unit have been under investigation since December when reports of a police death squad surfaced.

The Sunday Times reported allegations that, under Booysen's command, the unit had committed scores of assassinations, some in retaliation for suspected cop killings and others related to taxi wars.

It reported that Colonel Navin Madhoe - an officer in the provincial procurement office charged with trying to bribe Booysen with R2-million to drop a R60-million corruption case - had given the Hawks boss a memory stick, a hard drive and two CDs containing hundreds of photographs showing what appear to be gruesome killings of suspects by the police.

The images include several of post-killing celebrations by members of the Cato Manor unit.

In an affidavit, Madhoe said Booysen asked him to acquire the CDs as they contained "incriminating evidence of serious crimes in a unit under his direct command".

Independent Complaints Directorate spokesman Moses Dlamini yesterday confirmed that the investigation of the Cato Manor unit was continuing.

"Once we have concluded the investigation we will hold a media briefing to reveal the outcome . The time frame will be dictated by what we uncover during the investigation," he said.

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