Hawks are investigating 22,477 cases worth R1.5-trillion

The Hawks are dealing with 22,477 cases with more than 500,000 charges.

Hawks head Lt-Gen Godfrey Lebeya gave an account of national priority offences and highlights of milestones achieved by the directorate on Tuesday morning.

Hawks head Lt-Gen Godfrey Lebeya at the presentation of the national priority offences on Tuesday in Pretoria.
Image: Screengrab via SAPoliceServices/YouTube

Lebeya outlined cases since his appointment in June 2018.

The monetary value for the cases being investigated is more than R1.5-trillion, involving 23,519 suspects, of which:

  • 12,360 have already been secured at court;
  • 11,159 are still pending;
  • 1,998 have been sent to the NPA for a decision; and
  • 3 are scheduled for August 23.

Lebeya said the Hawks embarked on a process of assessment, implementation and monitoring in 2018.

Issues identified in the organisation which adversely affected the functioning of the Hawks and the attrition of skilled personnel were:

  • incoherent organisational structure, stagnation in some investigations;
  • transfer of personnel to other divisions within the SAPS;
  • nepotistic practices in appointments;
  • poor and unfair allocation of human and physical resources; and
  • inadequate implementation of the Police Act.

The number of “birds” increased from 2,535 in 2018 to 2,672 in 2019.

“As we speak, we have advertised more than 200 posts. We shall continually [to] advertise vacant and funded posts to address these identified gaps.”

Lebeya said 85% of senior manager and personnel posts had been filled and by the end of the year the team should be at full strength.

Lower and middle management is still operating at 50% and the “fiscus allowing”, the Hawks expect the posts to be filled in the next two years.

Between 2018/2019 and 2021/2022, the Hawks arrested 12,157 suspects who were brought before the courts during this time. In the same period, 4,447 convictions were secured across the country.

Lebeya pointed out that the convictions relate to individuals, as the charges, or counts, are much higher. Examples included:

  • In 2019, convictions relating to serious commercial crime investigations was 37,597 counts.
  • In Cape Town Central, two people and five organisations were convicted on 487 counts of fraud and money laundering of VAT to the value of R110m actual and R440m potential loss. They were sentenced to 17 years and 16 years’ imprisonment respectively on February 21 2020.

The Hawks investigate cases including cash-in-transit robberies, theft of fuel from Transnet pipelines, trafficking in drugs, trafficking in human beings, corruption, commercial crime, organised crime, cybercrime and money laundering, and inchoate offences such as conspiracy to commit crime and incitement to commit crime.

TimesLIVE (TMG Digital)

Alex Patrick