National Assembly passes Hawks bill

2012-05-23 18:39

kalahari.com

  • Police
    A 'behind the scenes' look at how the emergency services work. Now R310.00
    buy now
Cape Town - The National Assembly passed an amendment bill on Wednesday to restructure the corruption fighting Hawks unit in line with the Constitutional Court's Glenister ruling.

The draft bill generated heated debate, with the ANC asserting that it gave the unit adequate independence, as the court demanded, and the opposition dismissing it as a minimalist attempt to appease the bench.

It was approved by 220 votes to 57.

Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa defended the lawmakers' decision to leave the directorate for priority crime investigation (DPCI) - better known as the Hawks - in the police force, contrary to proposals from several security and legal experts.

He said there was no international imperative to relocate the unit and the final bill guaranteed the operational and structural autonomy of the unit.

Threats to take it back to court

Sindi Chikunga, the chairperson of the portfolio committee on police, likewise dismissed criticism that the bill failed to go far enough to satisfy the demands of the court.

She said those who threatened to take the legislation back to court, should do so because it would only serve to confirm that it was now constitutional.

"The sooner it happens the better for all of us," Chikunga said.

She said the drafters had taken on board most of the proposals contained in a submission by constitutional law expert Pierre de Vos, who expressed some scepticism that this was the case.

The bill, an amendment to section six of the SA Police Service Act, was reworked at the 11th hour to make the head of the Hawks report to the police minister, and not the national commissioner.

De Vos and others had argued that the unit could never be independent if it answered to the commissioner - a political appointee.

'Fiddling politicians'


ANC MPs also agreed to fix the term of office of the leader of the Hawks at between seven and five years, and introduced measures to ringfence the budgetary processes of the unit.

However, the Democratic Alliance's Dianne Kohler Barnard said her colleagues had missed an opportunity to set up a truly independent anti-corruption unit and had instead "tinkered with the Hawks to comply with the Constitutional Court judgment".

She said it was a mistake to make the head of the unit report to the minister, and that the bill failed to safeguard the Hawks from political interference.

"It is unlikely to persuade the public that it will protect the Hawks from fiddling politicians.

"The unit needs to be located as far from SAPS and the executive as possible."

The Freedom Front Plus also voted against the bill, while the Congress of the People and the African Christian Democratic Party supported it.

The ACDP said it did so because, despite flaws, it believed that given that the Glenister judgment was not unanimous, it would probably pass constitutional muster.
- SAPA
Read more on:    police  |  anc  |  hawks  |  nathi mthethwa  |  pierre de vos  |  sindi chikunga  |  dianne kohler barnard  |  legislation
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
12 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/Movies
Traffic & Train Alerts
Traffic
Kuils River 17:58 PM
Road name: Polkadraai Road Eastbound

ROADWORKS between the R102 Van Riebeeck Road and the R310 Baden Powell Drive exit - expect delays

Montague Gardens 12:06 PM
Road name: Montague Drive

ROADWORKS - lane closures both directions for BRT lane construction - DELAYS towards Bosmansdam Road

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

Up to 60% off - clearance sale!

Save up to 60% on appliances, books, electronics, toys, movies and more. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Deal of the Week!

Get bestselling John Green novels now just R99 each! Hurry and get yours while stocks last. Shop here.

Mind blowing deals on beauty & fragrances

Save up to 30% off beauty and fragrances. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 50% off hair care products!

Save up to 50% on professional hair care products at kalahari.com. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off academic books

Score a mind blowing 30% off academic books! Offer valid 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
Jan 21 - Feb 18
Jan 21 - Feb 18

You may be inspired to do things that expand your mind in a big way today. You have a need to explore and a need to please....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.