No forced entry in SABC office theft - Parliament

2017-04-23 16:05
SABC office. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

SABC office. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Johannesburg - There was no sign of forced entry in the theft of laptops at the SABC’s offices at Parliament’s Mark’s Building in Cape Town, Parliament said on Sunday.

"A preliminary investigation by Parliament's Security Services on Saturday has uncovered that there was no sign of forced entry at the office in question," said parliamentary spokesperson Moloto Mothapo in a statement.

"There are two access doors to the office: the one that is ordinarily used for entry was locked, while the alternative door, which is kept locked at all times, was unlocked."

The theft allegedly took place on Friday night. Mothapo said that night security staff had said that, at approximately 23:00, "there were several SABC staff members working at the said office".

Furthermore, said Mothapo, the security locking cables of the laptops which were taken, had not been tampered with, "suggesting that someone with a key detached the laptops".

Mothapo said that Parliament’s security services would study the video footage of the night.

The City Press reported on Sunday that five laptop computers had been taken.

SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago told the newspaper that he was unaware of the break-in and theft.

In July 2015, Economic Freedom Fighters leader Julius Malema’s parliamentary office was broken into and certain documentation linked to his travel and security information was removed.

City Press also reported that, in September 2015, the offices of the National Assembly’s house chairperson, Thoko Didiza, were broken into.

Mothapo said that the investigation into the 2015 incident with the EFF showed that the people involved in the incident had been authorised to enter the offices, and that the doors had not been forced open.

"Parliament will advise the SABC to thoroughly conduct its internal investigation and provide the institution with a full report, which will assist us to get to the bottom of this alleged crime," he said.

Meanwhile, the Democratic Alliance has called on the Inspector-General of Intelligence, Dr Sethlomamaru Dintwe, to investigate the State Security Agency’s "possible involvement". The party also called on him to investigate apparent intimidation of journalists.

Calling the break-in "stunningly suspicious," DA MP Phumzile Van Damme said that "we view this latest 'break-in' as part of a much bigger, coordinated campaign to intimidate and threaten SABC journalists".

The party would also ask the speaker of Parliament to investigate the "suspicious" circumstances under which the theft took place – considering the security measures already in place.

Read more on:    sabc  |  parliament

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