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

 
/News
 

Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!

It’s the season to be jolly – so we’ve rounded up some new Joburg hot spots!

 
 

I love summer.24

The craziest deaths of 2014
How to make this a sensual, sexy summer!
This is what South Africans Googled in 2014!
This hilarious song is your new holiday anthem

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

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

Grand Theft Auto 5

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

You may be emotionally defensive or reserved today. You need to step up today as there may be extra responsibilities to deal with....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.