Police minister Nathi Mthethwa says the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI), otherwise known as the Hawks, has finalised 27 412 cases since being established in July last year while achieving a conviction rate of 29.11% in terms of the current police formula.
“The Hawks have continued to become a major nemesis to criminals in and around South Africa,” Mthethwa says. The Hawks comprise the Department of Justice’s National Prosecuting Authority’s former Directorate of Special Operations,known as the “Scorpions” and several specialist units of the police, notably the anti-organised crime unit.
Mthethwa noted the motto of the Hawks is “Fight against corruption: To seek. To find. To succeed.” He added that “if history is anything to go by, this unit has enforced its motto with great success on criminals in the past months of its existence. Notably, the SBV security company has also publicly commended the Hawks for their sterling job in crashing [sic] most of the cash-in-transit (CIT) crimes.” SBV is a CIT company owned by South Africa’s major banks. “The company indicated that in the first four months of 2010, CIT robberies had dramatically gone down by 60% while attempted CITs were down by 29% around the country.”
“We are also encouraged that none of the cases transferred to the DPCI from the Directorate of Special Operations (formerly Scorpions) have been dropped.” He said the Hawks had arrested 28 of the country’s 50 most wanted criminals. Of the 8 186 people being investigated for commercial crime, 122 were arrested by the now defunct Scorpions (Directorate of Special Operations).
The minister said the achievements came despite operational and administrative chalenges. “One of the areas identified which is currently being addressed is the vetting of all employees. There are a total of 38 employees of the DPCI who were transferred from the National Prosecuting Authority who have been vetted to date. The total number of Hawks employees who have been vetted already is 483 excluding those mentioned above and a process has been put in place to speed this up.”