An anti-corruption commander has been suspended amid allegations that he stole over R400 000 cash from different suspects during operations, the Hawks said on Wednesday.
Captain Richard Nkwanyana, 48, handed himself over in Middelburg on Monday, October 2, after a protracted investigation, said Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi.
The National Intervention Unit, which was deployed to Mpumalanga in May 2016, apparently seized two cash amounts from two different suspects.
Both cases, involving cash amounts of R232 400 and R164 500, were transferred to the Hawks for further investigation.
"There was no evidence which linked both suspects to the suspected cash seizures. The two alleged suspects sought the intervention of private lawyers to retrieve their cash and these were granted by the Nelspruit Magistrate Court."
It transpired that the money had apparently vanished.
Nkwanyana, who took responsibility to safeguard the cash, gave different statements.
After an investigation in Mpumalanga, it emerged that a further R43 000 was also said to be missing from a total of R118 800 cash seized from a suspect, that was supposed to be forfeited to the State.
Nkwanyana appeared briefly in the Nelspruit Magistrate's Court this week on charges of theft and defeating the ends of justice.
He was released on R5 000 bail and barred from entering any Hawks offices.
He was expected in court again on October 17.
Acting Hawks head, Lieutenant-General Yolisa Matakata warned that unethical actions of a few members would not be tolerated.
She said the presence of corruption was "like a cancer eating out the very heart" of the Hawks.
"The fight against corruption must be fulsome, total and unrelenting and hence I have ordered that the member be suspended immediately."