Police refuse to let go of Hawks

2012-05-02 16:05
Cape Town - The police on Wednesday dismissed calls to move the Hawks outside their control to give the corruption-fighting unit greater independence.

"The issue of where to locate the DPCI (Directorate Priority Crimes Investigation) has been dealt with extensively before. It is not our role to recreate those discussions," police secretary Jenni Irish-Qhobosheane told MPs.

She stressed that in ruling last year that the Hawks' founding legislation was unconstitutional, the Constitutional Court did not demand that the unit be relocated outside the police.

"The court did not rule that the Hawks had to be outside the South African Police Service. The judgment does not require the creation of a new structure."

Irish-Qhobosheane was responding to submissions by legal experts and policy think-tanks on a draft amendment to the SA Police Service Act to restructure the Hawks in line with the court's ruling in the Glenister case.

The majority judgment stated that South Africa's commitments under international treaties obliged it to have an independent anti-corruption unit, and faulted the act for failing to insulate the Hawks adequately from interference.

But Irish-Qhobosheane said international best practice did not offer a standard definition of independence and it was an accepted fact that "anti-corruption bodies do depend on and account to those in power".

She argued nonetheless that the bill satisfied the demands of the court by scaling back the role of the ministerial committee and giving Parliament the final say over the unit's policy directives.

In public hearings last week, constitutional law expert Pierre de Vos cautioned that the draft act still left too much scope for meddling by members of the executive - who might themselves become subject to investigation.

This was because the ministerial committee could still issue instructions to the Hawks' operational committee, providing a "back door" for political pressure to be brought to bear on the unit.

De Vos also argued that said it was hard to see how legislators could leave the Hawks in the police, and satisfy the court's call for a reasonable perception of independence.

The Constitutional Court gave Parliament 18 months to amend the legislation, leaving lawmakers until September to meet the deadline.

The location of the unit has been under debate for years.

In 2009, Parliament disbanded the Hawks' predecessor, the Scorpions in line with a resolution taken at the ANC's Polokwane conference in 2007, despite its conviction rate of more than 90%.

The Scorpions were located in the National Prosecuting Authority but the political argument was made that locating an investigative unit within a branch of the judiciary interfered with the separation of powers.

- SAPA
Read more on:    police  |  hawks
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
25 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Africa
 

Hottie of the day: Charlotte

Meet our hottie of the day, Charlotte. She feels sexiest after a good workout at the gym!

 
 

Men24.com

This is why guys shouldn’t be in photos
BMW drift battle: M235i vs. speedway bike
Want to start talking dirty?
And this year's Miss Bumbum title goes to...

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Festive gifts!

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

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and 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!

Up to 35% off books

Save up to 35% on the latest page-turners. While stocks last. Shop now!

Good Morning, Mr Mandela by Zelda la Grange

Good Morning, Mr Mandela tells the extraordinary story of how a young woman had her life, beliefs, prejudices and everything she once believed in utterly transformed by the greatest man of her time. Now R221. Pre-order 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

Enjoy the view because as from tomorrow you are going to need to come back down to earth and join the party. In the meantime use...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.