KZN Hawks head back in the firing line

KwaZulu-Natal Hawks head Johan Booysen is in the firing line yet again, facing suspension from his post.

It is understood that police management served Booysen, who has in the past successfully rebuffed efforts to run him out of office, with a “notice of contemplated suspension”.

Booysen’s attorney, Carl van der Merwe, has confirmed this but could not be drawn to comment on the basis on which police brass intended suspending the provincial Hawks head.

“He [Booysen] has been served with a notice of contemplated suspension, which means that he has been given time to make representations as to why he should not be suspended,” said Van der Merwe.

Booysen was arrested and suspended previously along with 28 members of the Cato Manor Serious and Violent Crimes Unit, who were accused of running a “death squad”.

The case against the officers has stretched over four years and seen Booysen taking the fight to court.

Cato Manor police were charged with the unlawful killing of taxi operators, ATM bombers and armed robbers, and Booysen was accused of being in control of the operation. Although he was the prime target, it is his view that the Cato Manor unit members were “the collateral damage” in the onslaught against him.

He successfully had racketeering charges levelled against him set aside in the Durban high court.

He was then exonerated from departmental charges by an advocate who chaired his disciplinary hearing, and returned to work.

In previous court applications, Booysen has said there was a concerted effort to sideline him because of his investigations into a politically connected Durban businessperson.

Neither Booysen, national police spokesperson Solomon Makgale nor Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi could not be reached for comment. –

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