NPA finalises Hawks torture charges
Johannesburg - Torture charges against 14 members of the Hawks are being finalised, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said on Monday.
"We are busy preparing an indictment on this matter. Charges will be finalised soon," said Western Cape spokesperson Eric Ntabazalila, but added it would not happen this week.
The Democratic Alliance said on Monday the Hawks had been given a great deal of power.
"This is unlike the NPA-based Scorpions which, before it was disbanded, had a constitutional obligation to carry out its activities responsibly and without fear, favour or prejudice," said DA police spokesperson Dianne Kohler Barnard.
She said the charges arose from cases where members of the Hawks allegedly handcuffed suspects' hands behind their backs before pulling plastic bags over their heads.
People were allegedly threatened with suffocation, hit, kicked and slapped.
Kohler Barnard further claimed that some of the accused had been linked to the murder of Sidwell Mkwambi, 24, of New Crossroads, Cape Town. He was allegedly tortured to death and his body taken to a mortuary in a police van.