Godfrey Lebeya. Picture: SUNDAY TIMES
Godfrey Lebeya. Picture: SUNDAY TIMES

Spare a thought for the new Hawks boss, Godfrey Lebeya, as he prepares for what will have to be a comprehensive clean-out of the corrupt and those who attempted to capture the state.

Not only does President Cyril Ramaphosa profess (or is it feign?) inexplicable ignorance of the extent of state capture, he has chosen some severely compromised cabinet members, ranging from Bathabile "smallanyana skeletons" Dlamini to Malusi "VVIP pleaser" Gigaba. The Hawks have not hitherto stepped up to the plate to investigate any cabinet member compromised by (Saxonwold shebeeners) or fired for (Dina Pule, Sicelo Shiceka) corruption.

Lebeya has to report to new Police Minister Bheki Cele, who was at one point dismissed as national commissioner of police for his incompetence and dishonesty.

The Moloi inquiry recommended a criminal investigation into Cele’s role in the procurement of police headquarters leases at ridiculously inflated rentals, but none emerged.

The public protector’s Against the Rules reports concerning Cele were damning, but the cat in the hat has escaped unscathed, and with Dr Seuss-like panache re-emerges in the role of his former boss. Is a docket open, general?

Then there is the small matter of former president Jacob Zuma’s repeated threats to reveal corrupt activities on the part of his critics. Under section 34 of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act, he has a duty to report corrupt transactions. Has he, general?

Finally, the weekend reports of an oral negotiation of a facilitation fee for procuring loans of public funds via Zweli Mkhize ought to have elicited a swift announcement that the Hawks are, notwithstanding stout denials, on to this euphemistic reference to bribery and are conducting lifestyle audits and full investigations of all those named in the Sunday Times. Nothing yet, general?

The triple tests posed by these three questions concerning Zuma, Cele and Mkhize will benchmark the willingness of the Hawks to act fearlessly, independently and efficiently, as they are by law required to do.

Exchanging one patronage network for another overlapping one will cripple the prospects of a fair election come 2019.

Paul Hoffman
SC Director, Accountability Now