Mthandazo Berning Ntlemeza has hit back at Robert McBride, saying he should stop enlisting sympathy from the media and public and should rather assist the Hawks with their investigation into him.
The Hawks released a statement on Tuesday slamming McBride's decision on Monday not to deliver a warning statement to the police.
It's the latest salvo in the war within the criminal justice system, with both the Independent Police Investigations Directorate (Ipid) and the Hawks investigating various allegations of wrongdoing against each other. The Hawks' Gauteng head, Prince Mokotedi, last week laid charges of, amongst other things, treason against McBride. Ipid on its part is investigating Ntlemeza.
McBride, Ipid head, was asked by the Hawks to provide them with a statement related to the deportation of Zimbabwean nationals 10 years ago. He declined to do so after receiving legal advice, saying the Hawks' request is the same as was made earlier this year to Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan. He also refused to do so, before charges were dropped.
The Hawks, in their statement, urged McBride to stop with "mudslinging" and the spreading of "misinformation", and adds Ntlemeza, head of the Hawks, is considering his next steps.
Ntlemeza says he noted McBride's statements "with concern". He accused McBride of seeking sympathy from the media and public by leaking details of "security matters" connected with the "serious and sensitive" investigation into him and others.
"It is a matter of fact that the Hawks are conducting several investigations, [details of] which we cannot reveal, into serious and sensitive cases against the McBride and his associates. Instead of seeking media and public sympathy, he should instead cooperate with the investigation.
"The investigations were not initiated by the Hawks, but were referred to the Hawks for further investigation. It is therefore unfounded that there is a plot against McBride led by the Minister of Police [Nathi Nhleko] and Ntlemeza, as he would want the public to believe."