New acting head of Hawks Lieutenant-General Matakata Picture: Jonisayi W Maromo‏/ANA

Parliament – The appointment of Yolisa Matakata as acting head of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI), more commonly known as the Hawks, was welcomed by Parliament’s portfolio committee on police on Thursday.

In a statement, the committee, which exercises oversight over the police and its specialised units, including the Hawks, wished Matakata well following her appointment.

“We are glad that the Minister acted with speed in avoiding any vacuum in the leadership of the DPCI by urgently appointing a tried and tested investigator to temporarily hold the reins,” said committee chairperson Francois Beukman.

“We have confidence that Lieutenant-General Matakata will add value in the fight against organised crime and corruption.”

Beukman said he hoped Police Minister Fikile Mbalula, who announced Matakata’s appointment at a media briefing on Thursday morning, would expedite the process to appointment a permanent head.

Mbalula’s announcement came after the high court in Pretoria struck down an application by Major-General Berning Ntlemeza for leave to appeal an earlier court ruling declaring his appointment unlawful and invalid.

Beukman said the permanent appointment of a new Hawks head would boster public confidence in the organised crime fighting unit.

“The Committee will monitor developments in this regard and will engage the Minister further on this matter during upcoming Committee meetings. ”