The announcement on Thursday of the appointment of accomplished career policeman Godfrey Lebeya as the head of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation has been widely well-received.
The Hawks, as the unit is commonly known, have not been immune to the general malaise that has afflicted law enforcement agencies due to a deliberate ploy to weaken them for political and criminal ends.
The unit was created to replace the Scorpions (Directorate of Special Operations ) which had fallen foul of the powers that be by prosecuting political untouchables. The Scorpions were put to the sword after the Polokwane conference of the ANC that brought Jacob Zuma to power in 2007.
What followed was the systematic weakening of law enforcement that many would point to as the reason behind the unacceptable levels of crime.