Public Protector must look into the Hawks

The Constitutional Court found the legislation that established the Hawks unconstitutional.

South African crime-fighting unit the Hawks.

JOHANNESBURG - Anti-corruption lobbyist Hugh Glenister asked the Public Protector and the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) to investigate the manner in which Parliament is dealing with legislation around the Hawks.

In 2011, the Constitutional Court found the legislation that established the crime fighting unit, namely the South African Police Services (SAPS) Amendment Bill, was in fact unconstitutional.

Parliament has until mid-September to remedy the law as per the court's ruling.

Glenister believes the committee in charge of the bill has ignored public submissions and the redrafted law does not meet the court's requirements.

"We now ask the Public Protector to look at the process and whether the process is being followed according to the Constitutional Court," said Glenister.

"We need to look at Chapter Nine organisations before we go back to the Constitutional Court, otherwise the court might show why didn't you ask the Chapter Nine institutions to look at this?"

Chapter Nine institutions refer to a group of organisations established in terms of Chapter Nine of the South African Constitution to guard democracy.

These institutions include the Public Protector, SAHRC, the Commission for the Promotion and Protection of the Rights of Cultural, Religious and Linguistic Communities, the Commission for Gender Equality, the Auditor-General, the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC)and an Independent Authority to Regulate Broadcasting.

According to the Institute for Accountability in Southern Africa (IAFASA), the Constitutional Court requires that our South African anti-corruption entity should be adequately independent both structurally and operationally.