Johannes burg – Outrage at the brazen break-in at Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng's offices in Johannesburg continued to grow on Sunday. Parliament was the latest in a long list condemning the break-in in the early hours of Saturday morning which saw 15 computers containing sensitive information about judges and judicial officials stolen at the Midrand office of the chief justice (OCJ).
"Parliament is disturbed by the news of the break-in at the offices of the chief justice in which at least 15 computers were stolen. Such acts of criminality must be a source of grave concern and shock to those who value our constitutional democracy and its attendant sacrosanct structures which are its lifeblood," parliamentary spokesman Moloto Mothapo said on Sunday.
"Criminality of this nature not only undermines the functioning of our judicial system, which serves as the foremost interpreter and implementer of our country's laws and the Constitution, but also attacks our shared values as a nation. Parliament urges the police to leave no stone unturned in ensuring that the perpetrator/s of this act face the full might of the law," he said.
National Assembly justice and correctional services committee chairman Mathole Motshekga said the committee was outraged at this type of criminality.
"This is a direct attack on our judiciary, judicial system, and our hard fought democracy. We urge the police to leave no stone unturned to bring the perpetrators speedily to book and to deal harshly with them as a deterrent for such behaviour.”
The committee commended the South African Police Service (SAPS) for the haste in which it had set up a task team to deal with this matter and for additional security measures already assigned to judges since the incident.
“The speed in which this was done needs to be commended. The safety of our judges is of paramount importance." The committee would engage Mogoeng in an attempt to ascertain whether these measures were adequate or if reinforcements and additional measures were required.
"We cannot leave this office exposed for criminals as an easy target,” Motshekga said. On Saturday, Mogoeng’s office confirmed the break-in. “During the commission of this criminal offence 15 computers were stolen in the office where the human resources and facilities units are located,” spokesman Nathi Mncube said.
“The stolen computers contain important information about judges and officials of the OCJ and constitute a huge setback for the entire administration of justice.” The break-in was reported to the South African Police Service and various SAPS units were dispatched to the OCJ to conduct further investigations.
“Upon being informed of this crime the chief justice remarked that this must be viewed in a very serious light and the police ought to do everything in their power to ensure that the culprits are brought to book,” Mncube said.