Johannesburg - Former KwaZulu-Natal Hawks boss Johan Booysen has painted a chilling picture of how former Hawks head General Berning Ntlemeza wreaked havoc and “hijacked” processes when he was appointed as the head of the crime-fighting unit.
Booysen told the commission on Thursday how he did not trust Ntlemeza from the moment he was appointed as the head of Hawks. He said he believed Ntlemeza lacked the skills needed to run the agency. But it was his tails about how the Hawks changed following the appointment that stood out from Booysen’s testimony.
"For lack of a better word, when he was appointed, all hell broke loose within the [Hawks]. I cannot describe it any other way," Booysen said.
Booysen said that he felt Ntlemeza’s use of power when he got a call from him on December 31, 2014, requesting that they meet on January 1. Booysen said when they met, Ntlemeza took particular interest in the racial composition of his employees. He also made Booysen write up a report for him which he had to put together within a few hours.
"The very first thing he did, and that's what started to raise some red flags to me, the very first thing he did was, I received a call from him six days after his appointment, on New Year's Eve, in the afternoon... I received a call from him and he said to me that he would like to see me on the 1st of January..."
"Normally, your operational people work on the 1st of January, it's the first time in my police career of 40 years...that I'd been summoned to a meeting in the morning of a New Year's Day,” he said.