Foundation to take Hawks to court

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Johannesburg - The Helen Suzman Foundation will take its opposition over the Hawks bill back to the Constitutional Court.

The SA Police Service (SAPS) Amendment Act does not provide enough independence for the Hawks from potential political interference, the foundation said in a statement.

The bill was drafted in reaction to a previous Constitutional Court victory, which the foundation supported, by businessman Hugh Glenister.

Glenister brought his suit following the dissolution of the Scorpions, an investigative unit under the National Prosecuting Authority, in 2008.

The Scorpions were replaced by the Hawks, which fell under the SAPS.

The Constitutional Court ruled in favour of Glenister's complaint in 2011 and ordered the executive to change the legislation to provide the Hawks with specialisation and training, resources, security of tenure for its officials, and independence from political interference.

“To adequately combat the scourge of corruption, and other high priority crimes, the newly drafted unit must enjoy levels of independence that will allow it to carry out its mission without fear, favour, or prejudice,” the foundation said.

It argued the Hawks were not sufficiently structurally or operationally independent and there were not enough safeguards against political interference. The unit had to be seen as adequately independent for it to do its work. - Sapa


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