PRETORIA – The National Head of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) Lieutenant General Mthandazo Ntlemeza would like to dismiss with contempt the allegations reported on the City Press newspaper dated Sunday, 26 March 2017.

In the front page article headlined “S’bu Ndebele’s charges to be dropped” the newspaper claims that the Hawks have been told what to do or influenced in their decision-making. Lieutenant General Ntlemeza would like to put it on record that no one tells him or the Hawks in general what to do or who to arrest. Lieutenant General Ntlemeza has always stuck to the mandate of the Hawks as prescribed in the Constitution and no one will ever be able to influence the decisions taken by this elite crime fighting unit.

The Hawks are independent and contrary to what the newspaper wants the public to believe, the Hawks do not take instructions from anyone when it comes to issues relating to investigations, arrests and all matters that fall within the mandate of the Hawks.

The office of the National Head of the DPCI respects the independence of the media and how much of a stakeholder they are in the fight against crime, but it is malicious reporting such as the ones contained in the above quoted article that disgraces the good work that scrupulous and progressive journalists are doing. Sunday Times need not be reminded that they have a responsibility to feed their readers with well-researched, double-checked and authenticated information.

The same goes for a newspaper called the Daily Despatch in the Eastern Cape province. In their story headlined “Premier rejects ANCYL claim” on their Friday, 24 March 2017 issue, the reporter perpetuates damning allegations that the Hawks are being used to persecute certain individuals. The paper has the guts to report allegations that Premier Masualle is a ‘close cousin brother’ of Lieutenant General Ntlemeza. To set the record straight Lieutenant General Ntlemeza is not related to Premier Masualle. It also needs to be noted that the National Head of the Hawks is a staunch professional who does not discuss his work with family.

When the Hawks errs people are quick to judge but when we clamp down on corruption or excel in our mandate some people look for excuses to overshadow our good work. Pity some journalists allow themselves to be used as vehicles to spread such anti-progress and vendetta-filled attacks.

The public is urged to allow the Hawks a space to work. We are determined to curb corruption at municipalities and at all spheres of public and private sectors. The Hawks will continue doing its job without fear, favour or prejudice.