Glenister wants Hawks Bill probed

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Businessman Hugh Glenister has called for a probe into the way the government is carrying out a Constitutional Court order regarding the Hawks.

The anti-corruption lobbyist said this should be conducted by the Public Protector and the Human Rights Commission.

In last year's so-called “Glenister judgment”, the court found the legislation which established the Hawks within the police service unconstitutional.

After much public comment on the draft SA Police Service Amendment Bill Ä intended to give effect to the court's ruling Ä

the National Assembly's police committee made about 50 amendments to the bill.

These were made with an apparent disregard for both the court's orders and input from the public, Glenister said in a statement on Wednesday.

The redrafted bill, accepted by the Assembly on May 23, had not, in Glenister's view, adequately addressed the criteria identified by the court as pertinent to creating an effective anti-corruption body.

“Specialisation and training, independence from political influence and interference, guaranteed resources, and security of tenure for the unit's officials are the criteria stipulated in the judgment handed down by the ConCourt,” he said.

“However, the committee elected to make minimal, cosmetic changes to the bill and have kept the Hawks within the SAPS - seen by 21 of the 22 submissions (to the committee) as detrimental to the independent and effective combating of corruption in South Africa.”

Glenister's objections to the proposed structure of the national anti-corruption unit revolved around the current circumstances in the executive, the SAPS, and the Hawks themselves.

Given the “controversy” surrounding President Jacob Zuma, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa, and other members of the executive Ä not to mention the track record of former national police commissioners Bheki Cele and Jackie Selebi Ä it was unreasonable to house the Hawks within the SAPS or to allow executive oversight of the unit.

Glenister said he had urged Public Protector Thuli Madonsela to get involved, given her authority and constitutional duty to intervene in such matters.

“We are all on the same side in this fight; we need to take all reasonable measures to protect human rights by equipping South Africa with the best possible vehicle to combat corruption.”

Glenister said he would return to court if the redrafted bill was passed in its current form.

Parliament has until September 18 to remedy the legislation as per the court's ruling. - Sapa

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