SAPS amendment bill an 'average job'

The DA’s Dianne Kohler Barnard is unhappy with the amendments to the so-called Hawks Bill.

Members of the South African Police Service. Picture: EWN

CAPE TOWN - The new draft of the South African Police Service (SAPS) Amendment Bill is an "average job", the Democratic Alliance's Dianne Kohler Barnard said on Thursday.

On Wednesday evening, Parliamentarians signed off on the draft legislation.

The bill aims to restructure the Hawks after the Constitutional Court ruled that the old law did not guarantee sufficient independence for the crime-fighting body.

The head of the Hawks will now have to answer to Police Minister instead of the National Police Commissioner.

But there are still concerns that the Hawks are not independent from police.

Barnard, who is also a member of Parliament's Portfolio Committee of Police, has not signed off on the draft legislation.

She said her calls for the unit to be moved fell on deaf ears.

"It could be moved to the Justice Ministry or the National Prosecuting Authority, but those options were never presented to the committee."

Speaking to Eyewitness News shortly before the draft bill was signed on Wednesday, Hawks boss Anwar Dramat said he was confident about the bill.

"I feel it is independent enough in terms of its operations and structures."

The so-called 'Hawks bill' will be debated in the National Assembly next week.