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Ntlemeza hijacked the hiring, promotional systems at the Hawks - Booysen

Johan Booysen said senior appointments in the police were being made without candidates having the required qualifications and experience.

FILE: Former Hawks head, Berning Ntlemeza. Picture: EWN.

PRETORIA - The state capture commission of inquiry has heard how Major General Berning Ntlemeza hijacked the promotion and appointment process in the Hawks after he was named as the national head of the unit.

Former KwaZulu-Natal head of the Hawks Johan Booysen made the allegations at the Zondo Commission in Parktown, Johannesburg, on Friday.

Booysen said senior appointments in the police were being made without candidates having the required qualifications and experience.

“I sat on these panels at senior level and invariably decisions were taken even before the candidates appear, it’s a farce. The promotional system at SAPS was a complete farce.”

He said Ntlemeza did exactly this when he was appointed as head of the Hawks.

“When general Ntlemeza became the head of the Hawks, he hijacked the whole promotional system of the Hawks. All the posts that were advised within the Hawks were dealt with from his office.”

Booysen said soon after that, Ntlemeza replaced eight of the nine provincial heads of the unit, including himself.

He also said he became so exhausted after years of litigation that when he was removed as head of the Hawks for the last time, he didn't fight back.

His testimony has turned to the abuse of both the NPA and the Hawks which saw officials being harassed while trying to investigate corruption and politically connected suspects.

Booysen described the former head of the Hawks Berning Ntlemeza as an abusive person, who would shout and scream in anger when he was upset about something.

He said while he was on suspension, Ntlemeza replaced eight of the nine provincial head of the Hawks including himself but he chose not to fight this.

“At that state, I’d been in and out of court for a period of 5 or 6 years. You had to pick your points. Litigating with the NPA and SAPS, they use the taxpayers’ money, but myself and the Cato Manor had to find funds for ourselves.”

The High Court said Ntlemeza lacked integrity and honour and was eventually removed from his position.