Mthandazo Ntlemeza is the new head of South Africa’s elite crime fighting unit, the Hawks, police minister Nathi Nhleko announced on Thursday.
“In the recent cabinet sitting, the position was endorsed that major-general Mthandazo Ntlemeza is subsequently confirmed to the head of the DPCI (Directorate Priority Crime Investigation), generally called the Hawks…,” Nhleko said during a media briefing at Parliament.
Ntlemeza has been acting as Hawks head since December 2014 when his predecessor Anwa Dramat was suspended following an investigation into the illegal rendition of Zimbabwean nationals in 2010.
Ntlemeza joined the police in 1981 in the then Transkei, and had since then worked in various policing functions including intelligence and detective services.
“The gentleman that I’m presenting before you has 34 years experience as a police officer, something like 30 years in investigation and intelligence services…,” said Nhleko.
“General Ntlemeza registered a lot of achievements in areas of crime detection and policing.”
Nhleko said five candidates were interviewed for the job, and in the end Ntlemeza was “the best man for the job”.
Ntlemeza, who was seated next to Nhleko during the announcement, said his appointment signalled the faith Cabinet had in his abilities.
“Let me assure you and the citizens of this country of my unwavering commitment towards the fight against crime and to the rule of law, taking into account the bill of rights,” said Ntlemeza.
“It is my wish that the DPCI proves itself as a sophisticated, competent, reliable, and trusted arm of policing in South Africa.”