Hawks arrest anti-corruption commander for theft
A commander in an anti-corruption unit has been arrested on theft charges, the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) confirmed on Wednesday.
A commander in a Hawks anti-corruption unit has been arrested on theft charges, the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (Hawks) confirmed on Wednesday. Captain Richard Nkwanyana, 48, has been suspended following allegations that he stole more than R400 000 from a number of different suspects during operations. The National Intervention Unit, of which Nkwanyana was a member of, was deployed to Mpumalanga in May 2016, where cash was seized from two different suspects. The cash seizures, of R232 400 and R164 500, was then transferred to the Hawks for further investigation. However, the cash disappeared. “There was no evidence which linked both suspects to the suspected cash seizures. The two alleged suspects sought the intervention of private lawyers to retrieve their cash and these were granted by the Nelspruit Magistrate Court,” Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi explained. It was then discovered that the cash had disappeared. Nkwanyana, who had taken responsibility to secure the cash, gave differing accounts for its disappearence. An investigation in Mpumalanga uncovered that a further R43 000 was missing from a seizure of R118 800 from a suspect, which was forfeited to the state. Following a protracted investigation, Nkwanyana eventually handed himself over to police in Middelburg on October 2. He appeared briefly in the Nelspruit Magistrate’s court on charges of theft and defeating the ends of justice, and was released on R5 000 bail. He is expected back in court on October 17 and has been barred from entering any Hawks offices. Lieutenant-General Yolisa Matakata, acting head of the Hawks, warned that unethical actions by members of her staff would not be tolerated. “The fight against corruption must be fulsome, total and unrelenting and hence I have ordered that the member be suspended immediately,” she said.