Glenister eyes ConCourt over Hawks bill

2012-08-15 20:13
Hugh Glenister (File, Rapport)

Hugh Glenister (File, Rapport)

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Johannesburg - Businessman Hugh Glenister will take his campaign over the Hawks investigative unit back to the Constitutional Court if necessary, he said in a statement on Wednesday.

"Hugh Glenister is readying himself to take government back to the Constitutional Court if the latest version of the SA Police Service (SAPS) amendment bill is approved by the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) this week," he said in a statement issued on his behalf.

"Having come this far with my campaign to have an adequately independent and efficient anti-corruption entity, I will not give up if the bill is passed," he said.

The bill was passed by the National Assembly on 2 May with 220 votes to 57.

If accepted by the NCOP, it will be referred back to the National Assembly to await the president's approval before being passed into law.

Glenister said he felt this was likely after the committee for security and constitutional development recommended on Monday that the council do so.

Explaining the background, he said the Scorpions, an investigating unit which fell under the National Prosecuting Authority, was dissolved in 2008 to be replaced by the Hawks, which fell under the SAPS.

However, in a case brought by Glenister in 2011, the Constitutional Court invalidated the SAPS Amendment bill for 18 months, or until 18 September 2012.

The executive was ordered to remedy the legislation to provide the Hawks unit with adequate specialisation and training; independence from political influence and interference; guaranteed resources; and security of tenure for the unit's officials.

Glenister expected to see a new act ahead of the 18 September deadline, but he doubted that any real changes would have been made to satisfy the judgment.

"So long as the head of the Hawks is accountable to the chief of police it is impossible to avoid political interference," he said.

He and his legal team were prepared to return to court to have the bill redrafted.

At the time the bill was passed, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa said there was no international imperative to relocate the unit and the final bill guaranteed the operational and structural autonomy of the unit.

Read more on:    hawks  |  hugh glenister  |  legislation

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