IN AN apparent turf war between crime fighting units, Hawks boss Major General Shadrack Sibiya allegedly assaulted three intelligence agents outside the Boksburg magistrate's court.
The attack allegedly happened outside the court during a tea break when crime intelligence head Lieutenant General Richard Mdluli made his first appearance two weeks ago.
Mdluli is accused of murdering Oupa Abel Ramogibe 12 years ago, but he has claimed that his arrest and the charges against him were fabricated in an effort to tarnish his image.
Sibiya, accompanied by some of the Hawks officers, allegedly pounced on the nine intelligence agents whom he suspected kept him and his team under surveillance.
According to a police source, the agents, despite having identified themselves, were ordered to lie down, were searched and three of them beaten up.
"Their cellphones, files and some of their firearms were confiscated. The three agents, who were refusing to cooperate because they felt they had identified themselves, were beaten," a source said.
One of the injured agents was allegedly taken by ambulance to an unidentified hospital.
The officers opened a case at the Boksburg police station but the Independent Complains Directorate took over the case last Thursday.
ICD spokesperson Moses Dlamini confirmed yesterday that they were investigating the case.
"I can confirm that the ICD has taken over two dockets from Boksburg SAPS and will be investigating the allegations," Dlamini said.
Hawks spokesperson MacIntosh Polela confirmed that the agents were searched by Sibiya but denied that they were beaten.
"Sibiya received information about people who were writing down the registration number plates of police vehicles and searched them.
"He denies that there was any assault," Polela said.
According to a police source, the officers' cellphones were put into a machine that downloads all data contained in the phones.
Police Crime Intelligence spokesperson Tummi Shai said the allegations had not reached police top brass.
"To the best of my knowledge there is no such report filed by the officers. If there was an assault, the officers must open a case with the police," Shai said.