Police 'diminish' Hawks power - advocate

2013-08-23 16:01
(File)

(File)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town - The Hawks investigative unit has to abide by police objectives under the SA Police Service Amendment Act, the Western Cape High Court heard on Friday.

David Unterhalter, for the Helen Suzman Foundation, argued that the act's guidelines aligned the unit's crime-fighting strategy with that of the police.

"It is trying to diminish the independence of the directorate by trying to force it into the strategic operational priorities of the police," he said.

"If you crowd the slate of the institution and insist it must do certain things, then its ability to focus on corruption is devalued."

The foundation is seeking an order declaring sections of the amended act inconsistent with the Constitution to the extent that they fail to secure adequate independence for the Hawks.

Independence from political interference

It wants the court to suspend the declaration of constitutional invalidity for 12 months in order for Parliament to remedy the defect in accordance with the court's judgment in the matter.

The amendments were drafted in reaction to a previous Constitutional Court victory by businessman Hugh Glenister, in which the executive was ordered to change the legislation to provide the Hawks with independence from political interference, among other things.

Glenister brought his suit following the dissolution of the Scorpions, an investigative unit under the National Prosecuting Authority, in 2008. The Scorpions were replaced by the Hawks, which fell under the SAPS.

Glenister and the Helen Suzman Foundation (HSF) approached the Constitutional Court separately in November last year to oppose the amendments, arguing they were still insufficient.

Direct access to the Constitutional Court was denied and the two parties agreed to appear before a full bench of high court judges at the same time and present their arguments.

Financing problems

Unterhalter told the court one of the problematic sections related to the financing of the Hawks.

The Hawks head had to prepare and provide an estimated budget and present it to the police commissioner. In cases where there was disagreement over the amount, the police minister had the power to mediate.

He argued that the unit should be able to request a budget directly from Parliament, rather than from an accounting officer.

"There can't be a situation where the head must look to the commissioner as the accounting officer to procure. You don't want an independent body dependent on the commissioner for procurement."

Judge Siraj Desai said it was standard procedure for all commissioners in government departments to be accounting officers.

"The actual distribution of funds is by the national head [of the Hawks]," he said.
- SAPA
Read more on:    police  |  hawks  |  hugh glenister
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

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
4 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Sexiest Instagrams of 2014

Check out some of the sexiest celebrity Instagrams of 2014!

 
 

I love summer.24

Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!
Summer Survey!
Great ideas for the best summer sandwiches!
Christmas lingerie to make this festive season the best one ever!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Jobs in Western Cape region

Restaurant Manager

Western Cape
SET Recruitment Consultants
R20 000 - R30 000 Per Month

Area Manager - Retail

Western Cape
Evolve Personnel
R20 000 - R25 000 Per Month

Accountant - Cape Town

Western Cape
Quantum Recruitment

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

30% off the bestselling books

Save big on the most captivating reads of 2014. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

The energy today is serious, materialistic and hardworking. You may find you get a new outlook on things and you may want to spend...read more

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.