Booysen suspension nothing but a witch hunt - Dianne Kohler Barnard

DA says Police Minister’s irrational move has to be probed

Booysen suspension nothing but a “witchhunt”

The DA notes with concern the announcement that the exonerated KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Hawks head, Johan Booysen, has been suspended without an iota of prima facie evidence being provided by the embattled Hawks head, Berning Ntlemeza. When probed for the rationality for such a decision, the Hawks’ spokesperson, Hangwani Mulaudzi, pleaded that this was a matter they were “not prepared to go into”.

I will again write to the Portfolio Committee on Police asking that Parliament be briefed on the rationale of such a suspension and press the Committee to place this at the top of the agenda at the Committee’s next sitting.

The DA submits that this latest move by the Hawks head and the Police Minister is manifestly irrational and must now be probed. In fact, Mr Ntlemeza shouldn’t be in the position to suspend anyone at the Hawks given his very appointment is, in itself, born from the same manifest irrationality.

Almost a year to the day, Johan Booysen was cleared of all charges against him. Indeed the Labour Court found in Booysen’s favour, not once, but twice.

The Petermaritzburg High Court then found that the acting National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) at the time, Nomgcobo Jiba, did not properly apply her mind to the racketeering authorisation and in fact misled the Court. Thus Booysen was cleared by the High Court. Following that the South African Police Service (SAPS) launched an internal disciplinary hearing and once again it found that the Mr Booysen has not been involved in any wrong doing.

Considering that this matter has been settled by several courts, Nhleko and Ntlemeza must explain the rationale for this inexplicable move to the Portfolio Committee of Police and the South African public. 

In January the North Gauteng High Court slated the illegitimately-installed Ntlemeza, citing his suspension of Gauteng Hawks boss, Shadrack Sibiya, as unlawful, invalid and unconstitutional.

North Gauteng High Court Judge Matonjane found that there was indeed no legal or factual basis for the suspension of Sibiya and that Ntlemeza acted “without any single shred of [prima facie] evidence.” Judge Matonjane also called Ntlemeza “biased, dishonest and lacks integrity and honour.” “To further show he is dishonest he made false statements under oath.”

It cannot be that this critical crime-fighting unit which is mandated to carry out priority investigations can be abused to settle a political score.

Issued by Dianne Kohler Barnard, DA Shadow Minister of Police, 15 September 2015