New Hawks bill raises eyebrows

2012-03-03 18:47

The man who waged war for the political independence of the Hawks says he wants to “dress in my clown suit and ask the police if they’re joking”.

Businessman Hugh Glenister said this in reaction to the new bill governing the elite crime-busting unit.

The bill is due to be tabled in Parliament’s portfolio committee of police on Wednesday.

Last year, Glenister won a narrow victory in the Constitutional Court when it decided by a majority of only one judge that the unit was “insufficiently insulated from political influence in its structure and functioning”.

The court delayed the unconstitutionality finding in order to allow Parliament to fix the problems with the old bill.

Police are confident the new bill will pass constitutional scrutiny – but Paul Hoffman SC, Glenister’s lawyer, called it a “threadbare attempt to comply with the Constitutional Court’s judgment”.

The court said last year it was particularly concerned by the extent to which a ministerial committee had “hands-on” control and oversight over the unit, as well as the cases and crimes that would be referred to the unit.

The committee consisted of the ministers of justice, finance, home affairs, intelligence and police.

Some features of the new bill include:

» Policy guidelines on cases and crimes for the Hawks to investigate are now the sole responsibility of the minister of police with the “concurrence of Parliament”;

» The ministerial committee’s direct oversight of the unit has been removed;

» The minister of police still appoints the head of the Hawks. However, he now does so for a non-renewable term of seven years and there is a new deadline for reporting the appointment to Parliament; and

» A new provision also allows the minister to suspend the head of the directorate if “he or she is no longer a fit and proper person to hold the office”.

Parliament has until September to debate the bill and adopt the legislation.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.