Hawks chief side-steps ‘Spy Car’ watching SAPS Whistleblower

Lieutenant-General Godfrey Lebeya, head of HAWKS, neither confirms nor denies a vehicle’s existence allegedly linked to his crime investigation unit. The vehicle was reportedly seen near a whistleblower’s home. Lebeya’s response to demands for an investigation remains vague. The case involves potential surveillance, malicious charges, and allegations of corruption among senior SAPS members. Lebeya’s stance raises questions about transparency and accountability within the organisation.

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By Chris Steyn

HAWKS boss Lieutenant-General Godfrey Lebeya would neither confirm nor deny the existence of a vehicle allegedly registered to his Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI) – and which has been spotted outside the home of SAPS whistleblower Patricia Morgan-Mashale.

In a letter to veteran police- and violence monitor Mary de Haas, the general wrote: “This office shall not confirm or dispute the existence of a vehicle that is insinuated to belong to the HAWKS.”

He was responding to a letter from De Haas in which she demanded an investigation into – and explanation for –  surveillance on Morgan-Mashale’s family home in Bloemfontein in the Free State.

Read more: Demand that Hawks boss explain surveillance on whistleblower’s family home

Referring to this vehicle, De Haas wrote: “The types of cars seen around their home vary and, as indicated, it has been impossible to check on registration as they do not have number plates.  However, on 16 August 2023, a day before Ms Mashale was due to appear in the Bloemfontein Magistrates Court on a charge brought by Deputy Provincial Commissioner (Major General Solly) Lesia, a White BMW, known to be driven by local members of the Hawks, was seen around the Mashale home – driving past, turning around, and returning to check on the house.  According to Mr (George) Mashale, the name of the member who usually drives it is known but it seems it was another member driving it on Thursday last week.  The registration number of this white BMW is BVK227FS, registered to the Hawks.”

De Haas pointed out in her letter that Morgan-Mashale had gone into hiding because she had credible information that she would be arrested on a malicious charge, “disappear”, and probably be killed. This after she had sent then National Commissioner General Khehla Sitole a dossier, at his request, on alleged corruption implicating senior Free State SAPS members. 

Read more: I will not die silent – SAPS whistleblower in hiding

In his reply to De Haas, General Lebeya also stated: “This office shall not share information affecting any person with a third party.”

The general ended his letter by saying: “Individuals suspecting that there is a crime committed against them should be advised to report a criminal case for investigation by the authorities.” 

In her comment, De Haas says: “I am disappointed as I have a high regard for the work of the Hawks. The continued surveillance of the Mashale house falls in the TRC (Truth and Reconciliation Commission) category of gross human rights violations – especially as it was linked in November 2022 to an attempt to kill her.”

In her comment, Morgan-Mashale says: “I knew that was going to be his response because he is always covering up crimes and corruption. (Police Minister) Bheki Cele has re-appointed Godfrey Lebeya to deal with certain politicians and not with crime.”

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