A man who posed as a ‘Hawks officer’ Lazarus Mzwandile Sibanyoni (35), appeared at the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court today facing charges of extortion, impersonating a police official and fraud.
Sibanyoni was arrested in Sandton on Tuesday, Johannesburg, after the Gauteng Hawks’ Serious Corruption Investigation members were alerted of his attempt to extort R200 000 from one of the people who was mentioned in the Commission of Enquiry into State Capture.
The suspect had allegedly told the complainant that he was a Hawks member and promised to make investigations against him by the Hawks and NPA disappear.
To do this, he demanded R200 000. The complainant met with the suspect and handed him R8000 with the promise of settling the balance later that afternoon. The second meeting took place as agreed and the suspect was apprehended by the Hawks officers.
The suspect who was cladding Hawks regalia, was found in possession of fake SAPS, Hawks and NPA documents as well as a false Hawks appointment certificate.
The National Head of the Hawks Lieutenant General Godfrey Lebeya has welcomed the arrest.
“I welcome the work of the team that was involved. The arrest has removed the threat posed by the suspect on the community. We encourage members of the public to continue to provide information on criminals. The days of faking Hawks are over,” Lieutenant General Lebeya said.
The case against Sibanyoni who remains in custody has been postponed to Friday, 22 February for a formal bail application and further investigation.