Hawks boss Lieutenant General Godfrey Lebeya
Hawks boss Lieutenant General Godfrey Lebeya announced on Tuesday that Siphesihle Nkosi has been appointed new Deputy National Head of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI), also known as the Hawks.
Nkosi was appointed on November 1 and comes into the position with experience in fraud and commercial crime investigations.
Nkosi, seven senior managers and 244 members – ranging from junior level to middle management – have been recently appointed as part of the Hawks’ continuous quest to fully capacitate the Directorate.
“It is encouraging to report that the DPCI has grown to 52% from the last financial year. The process of capacitating the DPCI is continuing,” Lebeya said.
He highlighted that the Hawks would be appointing a further five senior managers by December 1 and another three by January 1, 2023.
“Should an additional ten designate appointees successfully negotiate their Top Secret Security Clearance certificates, we will announce their appointments immediately,” he added.
Presenting the success of the DPCI in the least financial year, Lebeya revealed that at least 827 suspects had been arrested and appeared before the various courts across the country. He said during the same period, 217 accused persons were convicted and sentenced.
Most of the arrests emanate from Serious Organised Crime Investigations, which made up 524 arrests.
Fraud cases, which are investigated by the Hawks' Serious Commercial Crime Investigation team, recorded the highest number of arrests overall.
They secured 222 arrests across all provinces, Lebeya said.
He noted that Serious Commercial Crime was followed by Precious Metals and Diamonds – illegal mining activities – with 126 arrests.
Non-Ferrous Metal cases followed with 97 arrests and this involved theft of copper, railway lines and other essential infrastructure that aided economic activities in the country.
Lebeya noted that corruption continued to surface as one of the biggest threats posed by criminals in the country. He said illicit financial funds triggered the Hawks’ response to focus on money laundering charges initiated through criminal investigations.
He said corruption cases were a special breed, in that they were committed in secret by consenting parties, which required a lot of digging to unearth such cases.
“Although the number of arrests are the lowest from the Serious Corruption Investigation component, it is in line with the number of cases and resources assigned to deal with the phenomenon. A number of other corruption cases are also appearing in the figures of Serious Commercial Crime Investigation. We have made some strides in that front and some of the cases that required high level of meticulous investigation carried out by our team of investigators in rooting out these corrupt elements are mentioned here,” he highlighted.