The Hawks still missing in action
The commission of inquiry into state capture has on several occasions instructed its legal team to contact law enforcement agencies, in particular the Hawks, on serious allegations of criminality that are brought before it.
This was the case when damning testimony related to the tainted Transnet deal for locomotives was brought before the commission.
Deputy chief justice Raymond Zondo, the chairperson of the commission, at the time bemoaned police inaction on the allegations of bribery in the Transnet deal.
This week was no different as the commission heard spine-chilling evidence on the failed R220m Estina dairy farm project in Vrede, Free State.
The project was meant to benefit about 80 farmers but ended up benefitting Estina, a Gupta-linked company. Money meant for the project allegedly funded a lavish Gupta wedding at Sun City in 2013.
In the past two days, intended beneficiaries, including Ephraim Dhlamini, lifted the lid on death threats they received for speaking out against the corruption. His testimony implicated the likes of Ace Magashule and Mosebenzi Zwane in the failed project.
A promised training trip to India for farmers was reportedly used for other purposes as Zwane is alleged to have instead taken a choir to India for the training.
But even more disturbing, Dhlamini told the commission that death threats aimed at him and others were not investigated by the Hawks. He recalled receiving a video detailing a plot to have him murdered.
Zondo instructed the commission's legal team to speak to police about this and report back on Dhlamini's safety.
The Hawks' inaction on these serious acts of criminality again highlights the harm beneficiaries of state capture did on the criminal justice.
That the agencies were diverted from their primary role and manipulated for political and personal gain we knew based on reports long before the commission was established. Perhaps what we may have not fully grasped is the betrayal of citizens like Dhlamini.
Hawks head Godfrey Lebeya told parliament in March that they were keeping a watching brief on the testimony at the commission.
Now he has his job cut out for him.
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