The Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI) has taken note of the unfortunate and alarming trend of fake news under the pretext of the Hawks.
Almost each day there are websites and other social media platforms that publish inaccurate information. This includes, among others, the imminent arrest of high profile politicians and senior government officials that continue to do the rounds on social media.
Such inaccurate reports or statements seeking empathy is highly damaging and hurtful to those involved as well as their families. They also do a great disservice to legitimate Hawks investigations as a whole. It has also given rise to fake Hawks imposters to exploit the situation.
The Hawks have surprisingly noted that the fake news purposefully use SAPS and DPCI logos to deceive the public. We call on the public to desist from publishing these false and inflammatory stories with immediate effect as it is grossly irresponsible.
The DPCI calls on all South Africans not to perpetuate false news cycles by sharing such stories on their social media networks.
As the Hawks, we have always stated that we do not conduct our investigations through the media. It is not in the interest of justice when matters under investigations are blown out of proportion, and in the process victimizing certain individuals.
The DPCI will always conduct investigations in a professional manner without fear or favour regardless of the position or status of the person involved. We do not involve ourselves in partisan investigations.
“I urge the media practitioners, especially journalists and editors to respect the work that we do and stop reporting unsubstantiated information. It will assist if the information can be confirmed with DPCI communication officers”, said the National Head of the DPCI, Lieutenant General Godfrey Lebeya.
Meanwhile, in response to the Sunday Times article headlined Suspended Hawks General back on the Job” which was published on 2019/04/28, the DPCI would like to clear the confusion expressed in the article.
Major General Zintle Mnonopi’s suspension was uplifted in line with the SAPS Discipline Regulations of 2016. The disciplinary process is still underway and the employer has concluded its case. Major General Mnonopi would be afforded the opportunity to present her own case.
With regard to her husband, Captain Thembani Mnonopi (54) and two other Hawks members Captain Mydarling Ndaba (39) and Warrant Officer Zandile Shabane (49), they have already been served with notices of suspensions whilst their criminal case is ongoing. They are expected to appear again at the Alexandra Magistrates’ Court on 27 May 2019.