Retired Judge Frans Kgomo announced as new Hawks watchdog

Police Minister Fikile Mbalula has announced the appointment of retired Judge Frans Kgomo as the head of the Office of the Judge Complaints Unit for the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI).

The Minister made the announcement at a media briefing at the Imbizo Centre in Cape Town on Friday following the passing of Judge Essa Moosa.

The Minister said after consultation with the Minister of Justice and the Chief Justice, Judge Kgomo was appointed to investigate complaints from any member of the public relating to any serious infringement of rights caused by the DPCI or complaints received from a member of the DPCI.

The DPCI, commonly referred to as the Hawks, is tasked with the legal responsibility of preventing, combating and investigating national priority offences and other offences, including selected offences referred to in the Prevention and Corrupt Activities Act, 2004 Act No 12 of 2004.

Judge Kgomo's role does not derogate the role of the Independent Police Investigative Directorate and the General of Intelligence but compliments these institutions and as such they will work together in the protection of our people and maintenance of integrity in our criminal justice system, Minister Mbalula said.

The Minister said Judge Kgomo, who was the Judge President of the Nothern Cape Division in Kimberly, has an impressive human rights background, having previously practised as an advocate at the North West Bar.

Judge Kgomo was also a member of the National Association of Democratic Lawyers (NADEL) and the Lawyers for Human Rights.

The appointment of Judge Kgomo will contribute in ensuring that the DPCI executes its mandate in accordance with the spirit of the constitution.

I look forward to working with you Judge [Kgomo] and thank you for accepting my invitation in your retirement to serve your people once again, he said.

Judge Kgomo thanked the Minister for showing confidence in him, and said he looks forward to working in the company of the men in blue again after having interacted with police throughout his career.

Mr Minister, thank you very much for the confidence that you have bestowed upon me. Our Chief Justice is a person who wants people always to hit the ground running and he does not want excuses. I have known him and worked with him from 1986. When he intimated to me that the Minister wants someone to do this responsibility, I was a bit taken aback but I am looking forward to perform this function.

Source: South African Government News Agency