Hawks investigators 'can't cope' with amount of corruption claims in eThekwini
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It is also understood that resources to deal with all the cases are lacking.
“I don’t have the exact number, but the Hawks are battling to handle all these cases.
“They are under-resourced and lack the capacity.
“This is being kept a secret, but people are talking in the corridors of both the municipality and the Hawks,” the source said. A Hawks member, who would not be named, said there was a general concern about the slow speed at which cases from eThekwini were being attended to.
“These cases date back a couple of years, and some have not even been touched.
“A point to be noted though, is that you can’t blame the investigators, because they need more hands and other resources.
“These are sensitive matters, so it’s not easy to discuss them in public spaces as they concern people’s livelihoods, as well as the taxpayers,” said the member.
The Hawks’ national spokesperson, Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi, would neither confirm nor deny that there were challenges in dealing with the workload.
Mulaudzi said the source’s information had no bearing on the work they were doing, but he would not answer direct questions in relation to the challenges faced by the Hawks in Durban.
He was asked the number of fraud and corruption cases emanating from eThekwini that were under investigation by the Hawks; the type of action taken to ensure that the Hawks were capacitated to deal with the cases; and the plans in place to them speed up.
“We are aware that there are people who want to determine or know the number of cases we are carrying, and the capacity, for their own benefit. Therefore, we will not discuss our cases in the public space; that is exactly what they are searching for.
“We do not have any challenges, and the work is going on unhindered from any internal challenges, as is being claimed,” Mulaudzi said.
Opposition parties in the eThekwini council said they were in the dark as to the number of cases in the hands of the Hawks, as they were kept secret.
DA caucus leader Nicole Graham said: “We are not told what’s been handed over to the Hawks - there’s no transparency in that regard.
“Our problem is that there’s no oversight over what the city’s integrity and investigative unit is investigating, or what recommendations are made when an investigation is concluded.
“There’s absolutely no oversight. Unless the information is leaked to us, we are unable to track or follow up on cases,” she pointed out.
IFP caucus leader Mdu Nkosi said it was worrying that a crucial state law-enforcement institution like the Hawks was under-resourced.
He said that if the matter was not resolved, more people could get away with crime at the municipality.
“The fact that Nzuza (municipal manager) has been subpoenaed to the Zondo Commission probing state capture is testimony to the seriousness of the fraudulent transactions in the city,” Nkosi said.