Parliament to debate SAPS Amendment Bill

The SAPS Amendment Bill will go before the National Assembly for debate.

The South African Police Service. Picture: EWN

CAPE TOWN - The South African Police Service (SAPS) Amendment Bill will go before the National Assembly for debate on Wednesday.

The controversial bill has come under fire for not going far enough in the creation of independent anti-corruption machinery.

In its current form, approved in Parliament last week, the Hawks will remain within the police.

Anti-corruption campaigner Hugh Glenister won a Constitutional Court battle in March 2011 that found that the Hawks were not independent enough to fight corruption effectively.

His advocate, and director of the Institute for Accountability, Paul Hoffman said parliament was given an opportunity to review the state's anti corruption machinery, but has not gone far enough.

"Glenister is going to be obliged to take the matter back to court to ask the judges to once again declare the SAPS Amendment Bill unconstitutional."

He believed a separate anti-corruption unit called the eagles should be established.

"Eagles fly higher, see further and go after bigger prey than Hawks."

President Jacob Zuma disbanded the Scorpions to form the Hawks in January 2009.

The unit was launched in 2001 by former president Thabo Mbeki and they had a conviction rate of 93.1 percent.

The ruling party decided to merge the unit with the police, reducing their power.

Glenister took the matter to court and the Constitutional Court ruled in his favour.