Timing of chief justice burglary 'highly suspicious' - DA

2017-03-19 13:00
Glynnis Breytenbach (Netwerk24)

Glynnis Breytenbach (Netwerk24)

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Johannesburg - It is "highly suspicious" that the burglary at the offices of the chief justice in Midrand followed so soon after the Constitutional Court ruled on the Sassa debacle, the DA said on Sunday. 

"Like the robbery at the Helen Suzman Foundation, almost a year ago exactly, the DA views this as an act of intimidation," DA MP and former prosecutor Glynnis Breytenbach said.

"It is highly suspicious that the break-in occurred the day after the Constitutional Court handed down a damning judgment in which they were highly critical of the Minister of Social Development, Bathabile Dlamini, and the social grants crisis she has manufactured."

On Friday the ConCourt ruled that Sassa and Cash Paymaster Services (CPS) must continue paying social grants until another entity which can do so is found. 

The declaration of the invalidity of the previous contract between the SA Social Security Agency and CPS would be suspended for 12 months, Justice Johan Froneman read from the order.

Dlamini had until March 31 to show why she should not be joined to the proceedings in her personal capacity, and why she should not pay the costs of the application from her own pocket.

On Saturday morning a total of 15 computers containing confidential information of all the South African judges, judiciary staff and all the courts was stolen from the office of the chief justice. 

Acting police national commissioner Lieutenant General Khomotso Phahlane said that a multi-disciplinary task team would investigate the matter.

Breytenbach welcomed the appointment of the team. 

"Attacks on the judiciary cannot be allowed to stand and must be dealt with with the urgency and seriousness they deserve," she said. 

"The DA will be submitting parliamentary questions as to why there wasn't adequate security at the office of the chief justice which allowed for the break-in to occur."

DA chief whip John Steenhuisen said on Twitter that it was possible that State Security Minister David Mahlobo and the State Security Agency could have had a hand in the burglary.

"My money's on Mahlobo and the kak-handed SSA. Signal jammer, imaginary social media villains and inept break ins. Intimidation of judiciary," he tweeted. 

The ANC responded that Steenhuisen made "wild, untested allegations impugning individuals without a shred of evidence to back it up". 

"The ANC directs Steenhuisen and his ilk to present to the relevant authorities and South Africans at large evidence he is relying on to make draw inferences and make allegations against... Comrade David Mahlobo in this matter," ANC spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said. 

"We have said and continue to reiterate that all and everyone with information in this matter must co-operate with law enforcement agencies to bring the perpetrators to book. Should he fail to do this, the ANC expects an unconditional apology to Cde Mahlobo and the ANC on the very same platform Steenhuisen uses to tarnish the reputation of our leaders."

Kodwa said the ANC trusts that Mahlobo would also consider taking legal action against Steenhuisen. 

"Wild allegations, frivolous conspiracy theories do nothing but to feed into a reckless frenzy in society, more so from those who claim to be leaders."

Read more on:    sassa  |  da  |  anc  |  johannesburg  |  crime

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