JOHANNESBURG - The Hawks are treating the leaked Gupta emails as genuine, but admit they only have a few of them.
In an exclusive interview with eNCA, acting Hawks head, Yolisa Matakata, said the information in the emails leaves the unit with no choice but to investigate.
She revealed that the unit does not have the hundreds-of-thousands of emails given to certain media organisations.
Instead, the Hawks have been probing charges linked to specific media reports, about some of those emails.
“With us getting that kind of information, we have to work with it. And therefore it’s through this work that we are doing, where you need to go to the various alleged departments involved or SOEs or whoever else is involved to start verifying by getting original information,” said Yolisa Matakata, Acting Head of the Hawks
Matakata admitted that her team does not have the full cache of emails, given to select news organisations.
“We’ve never seen the actual emails that reference is made of in the emails but we have information that speaks to some of these emails," she said
Matakata said Hawks investigators began probing state capture claims, before then Public Protector Thuli Madonsela released her damning report.
That team had spoken to, among other people, former Deputy Finance Minister Mcebisi Jonas and former ANC MP Vytjie Mentor.
Responding to accusations the Hawks is a captured institution, and will therefore fail to act on state capture evidence, she said “It’s not easy to operate within this perception that we are captured…Hence we are really making an effort to show that, at the end, people might be taken to court. If we go to court just by mere allegations that come to us, again we’ll be embarrassed, because the cases will be thrown out of court.”
Matakata said she understands the frustrations South Africans feel about the lack of action taken, in the face of wide scale evidence of state capture. But she added that citizens need to have patience – and not give up on the unit she leads.