Former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas testified at the judicial commission of inquiry into state capture on Friday. Photo: Matthews Baloyi/African News Agency (ANA)

Cape Town - Members of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI), commonly known as the Hawks, need to act without fear or favour to uphold the law and any dereliction of that duty should be properly investigated, parliament's police portfolio committee said on Saturday 

The committee had noted with serious concern the allegations made on Friday in relation to the conduct of high-ranking officials of the directorate at the judicial commission of inquiry into allegations of state capture, committee chairman Francois Beukman said in a statement.

"It is imperative that members of the DPCI, especially high-ranking members, should act without fear or favour to uphold the law and that any dereliction of that duty should be properly investigated," he said.

In terms of section 17 L (4) (a) of the South African Police Service (SAPS) Act any member of the public who could provide evidence of serious and unlawful infringement of his or her rights caused by an investigation of the Hawks could bring a complaint to the DPCI Judge. 

The current DPCI Judge is Judge Frans Kgomo, former judge president of the Northern Cape High Court. 

While the committee acknowledged that the proceedings of the commission were still under way and that testimony would still be subjected to cross-examination and findings of the commission would be made, any serious allegations against DPCI members should be urgently investigated by the relevant authorities, Beukman said. 

“The DPCI should lead in the fight against corruption and any allegations that comprise their role should be subject to independent investigation.”    

Two independent institutions were ideally placed to investigate the allegations against members of the DPCI - the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) and the Office of the DPCI Judge.       

Beukman called on any individual or organisation who had evidence of wrongful or criminal conduct of members of the Hawks to use the constitutional institutions available to investigate wrongful conduct.

“The committee’s view is that the head of the DPCI, [Lt-Gen] Geoffrey Lebeya, should also as a matter of priority launch an internal inquiry into the allegations,” he said. 

The committee would at the next engagement with the management of the DPCI request a briefing on the matter.  

On Friday, former deputy finance minister Jonas Mcebisi told the commission a senior Hawks official tried to quash his case against the Gupta family.

Jonas said he received a call from the Hawks after he released a media statement detailing his meeting with Ajay Gupta, Duduzane Zuma, and Fana Hlongwane where Ajay Gupta allegedly offered him a R600 million bribe to accept a promotion to finance minister.

African News Agency/ANA