Hawks officers say new KZN head is ‘rogue’ cop
Durban - Disgruntled Hawks officers have accused the newly appointed provincial head Major-general Lesetja Senona of being a rogue cop incapable of reducing crime in KZN.
With the province ranked second in Corruption Watch’s list of corrupt provinces, officers who once worked under Senona’s authority have little faith in him and want the national government to reconsider his appointment.
An officer has approached the office of the National Prosecuting Authority head advocate Shamila Batohi for her intervention.
Senona was appointed on July 1 as KZN’S top cop. Before that he served as the head of project investigations at the police headquarters in Pretoria.
Officers, who worked under Senona’s command within the organised crime unit, alleged he was involved in acts of corruption and that he colluded with TV personality Lerato Kganyago’s fiance, Thami Ndlala, in fabricating criminal charges against his own members.
In December, the Sunday Tribune reported that a Hawks officer who had been on suspension for over two years was facing charges of extortion laid by Ndlala – a suspect he had been investigating in 2013 for purchasing luxury vehicles using fraudulent documents.
Ndlala countered the fraud accusation, saying the officer had demanded R100 000 to make the case disappear, which the officer denies.
Some members of the organised crime unit alleged that in 2014 Senona failed to follow due process in an investigation involving an illegal diamond dealer in the West Rand, Joburg.
Officers said during the search and seizure, more than R800 000 and uncut diamonds worth millions were seized.
However, a few days later, the owner of the business surfaced to collect the seized amount with what officers called a fraudulent bank statement as proof the money had been obtained legally.
“When it was suggested that the bank statement be verified, Senona refused and authorised the release of the money and diamonds,” said the officer. “He is a corrupt man whom many feared and he is not the right man for this job.” Senona could not be reached. Colonel Katlego Mogale, national Hawks spokesperson, said the allegations required attention.
“When members have information relating to criminal activities within the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, there are policies which govern how these can be reported in order to institute both internal and criminal charges,” she said. “Should the member reporting the misconduct not have confidence that allegations made will not receive due diligence then such member is at liberty to report the allegations to the independent DPCI Judge.”
Corruption Watch’s Phemelo Khaasa said they were not familiar with the allegations against Senona, they had previously stressed the importance of transparency and following proper procedure in key leadership appointments.