SIU officer suspended for poaching steenbras, crayfish

A Special Investigating Unit (SIU) project manager has been suspended and has paid an admission of guilt fine after he was found in possession of crayfish and copper steenbras at Mdumbi on the Wild Coast in 2016.

Hein Hechter, who is based at the SIU's Mthatha office, has since been suspended.

"By paying an admission of guilt fine in terms of the Criminal Procedure Act, whether at the police station or any local authority, Mr Hechter is thus deemed to have been convicted and sentenced by the court of law in relation to his violation of the law," SIU chief governance officer Mahlodi Muofhe said in a statement on Wednesday.

READ: SIU investigator suspended following discovery of poaching conviction

Hechter was arrested, along with friends and crew, in a poaching bust in 2016. Fifteen copper steenbras and 28 crayfish were found in their possession.

Muofhe added that SIU head Andy Mothibi had become aware of Hechter's "misconduct" last week and had directed that immediate action be taken against him.

Mothibi urged members of the community to assist institutions such as the SIU by blowing the whistle when they see corrupt and criminal activities being committed by officials.

"It is difficult at times to detect in time misconduct and criminal acts conducted by our officials committed outside working environment hours, hence the call to the community to assist so that we can deal promptly with such cases," he said.

Mothibi said officials working for the SIU must, without exception, be men and women whose integrity remained beyond reproach.

"We cannot investigate maladministration and corruption committed by none SIU officials in government, state-owned enterprises and other institutions with some of our officials themselves failing the supreme test of integrity and transgress the law," Mothibi said.

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