Four more members of the Hawks have been suspended in connection with the alleged illegal rendition of four Zimbabweans, the Hawks said on Monday.
“It is true that those people have been given notices of suspension and as such it is their right to make representations,” said spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi.
The four were Constable Paul Radebe, Captain Sipho Nkosi, Warrant Officer Jacob Makoe, and Colonel Leslie Maluleke.
Radebe, Nkosi, and Makoe were members of the Benoni organised crime unit.
The notices of suspension were served on February 20 and February 23.
Mulaudzi said given the serious nature of the allegations it was important that procedure be followed.
“These are serious allegations that have been levelled against them. It’s important to deal with the matter at hand. If it means that the representations they give are acceptable a decision will be taken,” he said.
“It is an emotional issue and we are mindful of that, but if people suggest that the matter is criminal in nature it is very important that the matter is dealt with appropriately.”
Mulaudzi said there was no purge or witch-hunt being levelled against anyone.
“These matters are of a serious nature that involve the violation of human rights and it is for the members against whom allegations are being levelled to prove [to] us otherwise.”
On Monday last week, acting national Hawks head Major-General Berning Ntlemeza filed papers to appeal the court ruling overturning the suspension of Gauteng Hawks boss Major-General Shadrack Sibiya.
The appeal was filed in the high court in Pretoria.
On February 20, Judge Elias Matojane ruled that Sibiya’s suspension was unconstitutional, invalid, and unlawful.
Matojane also declared invalid the appointment of Maj-Gen Elias Dlamini to replace Sibiya as acting Gauteng head of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (the Hawks).
Ntlemeza suspended Sibiya pending an investigation into his alleged role in the illegal rendition of Zimbabweans to that country’s police in 2010.
Sibiya said in an affidavit that the Independent Police Investigative Directorate had exonerated him from any involvement in the rendition, and he did not know why he was suspended.
In January, another high court in Pretoria judge ruled that Police Minister Nkosinathi Nhleko’s decision to suspend Hawks boss Anwa Dramat was invalid and unlawful.
The high court dismissed Nhleko’s application for leave to appeal the overturning of Dramat’s suspension.
Dramat was suspended on December 23, pending a probe into his alleged involvement in the illegal rendition of the four Zimbabweans. – Sapa