Women’s rights group seeks answers from Ramaphosa on Hawks' Norma Gigaba involvement
Durban – Women’s rights advocacy group Wise 4 Africa on Tuesday wrote to President Cyril Ramaphosa, demanding answers for what it described as “an abuse of power by the Hawks” following Norma Gigaba's arrest last week.
In the letter, shared with Independent Media, the group alleged that Gigaba's rights were abused as the Hawks had nothing to do with the matter.
“We are compelled to write to you and register out total and utter dismay with how a criminal matter against Ms Norma Gigaba was attended to by the State,” read the letter.
The organisation said the Hawks should not have dealt with the charges of crimen injuria and malicious injury to property.
“Once charges are laid with the respective police station, it means that the officers at that police station have a duty and an obligation to effect the arrest,” the letter continued.
Wise 4 Africa also told Ramaphosa the Hawks confiscated Gigaba's electronic gadgets without a search warrant and also denied her the right to legal representation.
“Ms Gigaba was arrested on Friday, July 31 2020. She was only able to secure bail on Saturday, August 1 2020 and she has since appeared before the Hatfield magistrate court August 3.
“The conduct of officers of the Hawks clearly illustrate an abuse of power and is anathema to the rule of law."
The organisation's leadership added in the letter: "We are deeply disturbed by the abuse of due process displayed by Hawks officers who appropriated the docket, thereby denying Ms Gigaba’s right to apply for bail. That act by the Hawks was calculated, mean and downright unlawful."
The organisation has pleaded with Ramaphosa to compel the Hawks to reveal if the former Home Affairs minister requested them directly to conduct the arrest.
“If so, can they (the Hawks) produce the complaint in writing? Produce the search warrant used to confiscate Ms Gigaba’s electronic gadgets, provide reason(s) the docket was removed from the Brooklyn police station.
“Further, we will be writing to the Speaker of the National Assembly requesting a speaking intervention the next time the Hawks appear before the justice portfolio committee,” stated the letter.