The Acting National Head of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (HAWKS) Lieutenant General Yolisa Matakata has learnt with disappointment the arrest of the units' Serious Anti-Corruption commander in Mpumalanga.
Captain Richard Nkwanyana (48) handed himself over the Hawks' Middelburg Organised Unit members on Monday following a protracted investigation into alleged theft of about R439 900.
It is alleged in May last year, the National Intervention Unit (NIU) from Cape Town who were deployed in Mpumalanga, seized two cash amounts of R232 400-00 and R164 500-00 from two different suspects whilst conducting operations on the same day.
Both cases were transferred to the Hawks for further investigation. There was no evidence which linked both suspects to the suspected cash seizures. The two alleged suspects sought the intervention of private lawyers to retrieve their cash and these were granted by the Nelspruit Magistrate Court.
It however, transpired that the money had allegedly vanished and Captain Nkwanyama who took responsibility to safeguard the cash gave different statements. An order was granted against the Mpumalanga Provincial Commissioner in July this year to reimburse one of the two gentlemen to no avail.
An investigation was then initiated by the Hawks in Mpumalanga and disappointingly it further transpired that a further R43 000-00 from a different case was also allegedly missing from R118 000-00 cash amount seized from a suspect that was supposed to be forfeited to the state.
Acting National of the Hawks Lieutenant General Matakata has warned that the unethical actions of a few members will not be allowed to undermine the hard work of the honest and dedicated men and women of the Hawks.
"The presence of corruption is like a cancer eating out the very heart of the DPCI. Individuals who continue to undermine the efforts of others must be identified, punished and separated from the good men and women of the Hawks. The fight against corruption must be fulsome, total and unrelenting and hence I have ordered that the member be suspended immediately," she said
Lieutenant General Matakata pointed out that under her watch, it will not be business as usual and she will not hesitate to suspend anyone to have been found to be involved in any form of corruption.
Meanwhile, Captain Nkwanyana appeared briefly at the Nelspruit Magistrate Court and was released on R5000-00 bail. He has been barred from entering any Hawks offices. He is expected in court again on 17 October 2017. He faces charges of theft and defeating the ends of justice.