Durban – The Hawks have become incapable of investigating the politically connected, according to non-profit organisation Accountability Now.
Accountability Now head Advocate Paul Hoffman was responding to the contents of a secret forensic investigation published by News24 this week, which alleged that three high ranking KwaZulu-Natal police officers were showered with gifts by a businessman in exchange for tenders and contracts worth more than R50m.
The report named provincial police commissioner, Mmamonnye Ngobeni, as well as supply chain management unit officers, Naven Madhoe and Aswin Narainpershad, who had allegedly been given gifts from Thoshan Panday valued at nearly R150 000.
At the same time, Panday was under investigation for a range of corruption charges, and allegedly banked millions of rands at an average profit rate of 200%.
The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has however withdrawn all charges against Panday, Madhoe and Narainpershad “in the interest of justice” and declined to prosecute Ngobeni.
“It’s quite clear to Accountability Now that the Hawks are incapable of fulfilling the role of an effective and independent corruption-busting agency. This role and function is required in terms of the Constitutional Court rulings in the Glenister litigation,” Hoffman said.
“The proximity of Mr Panday to those with their hands on the levers of power has ensured him a level of impunity which would not be attained were we to have an effective anticorruption entity.
“Until such time as our Parliament generates the political will to create an institution which is fully compliant with the criteria set by the Constitutional Court, we are going to find more instances of this kind,” Hoffman added.