Top cop returns after racketeering acquittal

PHOTO_HAWKS_200814

File: Limpopo head of the Hawks appeared briefly in the Special Commercial Crimes Court facing fraud charges.

DURBAN - Suspended KwaZulu-Natal Hawks head Major-General Johan Booysen is expected to report for work on Monday.

"He was acquitted of all charges. I think he will be reporting for work this morning," Booysen&39;s lawyer Carl van der Merwe said on Monday morning.

Booysen was charged in August 2012 for racketeering, involving allegedly receiving payment to carry out hits in the KwaZulu-Natal minibus taxi wars.

Earlier this year, all criminal charges against him were withdrawn. Police however pursued disciplinary charges against him which were linked to his alleged failure to act against members of the Cato Manor serious and violent crimes unit for their alleged excessive use of force.

KwaZulu-Natal&39;s newspapers were on Monday dominated by news of Booysen&39;s acquittal and extracts from the report by advocate Nazeer Cassim, SC, which detailed his findings from the police&39;s internal inquiry.

The Mercury&39;s front page led with the headline "Top cops in plot to shaft Booysen", while The Witness newspaper&39;s front page was headlined "The Plot to Nail Top Hawk".

The Mercury quoted Cassim saying in his report that: "The facts demonstrate an agenda to get rid of Booysen because he was perceived (rightly so I may add) as a determined, professional, competent and tenacious policeman who would arduously strive to bring wrongdoers to book."

According to The Mercury, Cassim cleared Booysen of all wrongdoing. The Witness reported that Cassim&39;s report was critical of a number of senior police officers, including national police commissioner Riah Phiyega and KwaZulu-Natal provincial commissioner Mmamonnye Ngobeni.

- Sapa