ConCourt ruling on Hawks' independence expected

The court will decide whether the Hawks are fully independent & can replace the former Scorpions.

FILE: The Constitutional Court will decide whether the Hawks are fully independent & can replace the former Scorpions. Picture: EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The Constitutional Court is expected to make a ruling today on whether the Hawks unit is fully independent from government and whether it's able to legally take over the role formally played by the Scorpions.

Government abolished the Scorpions after the African National Congress (ANC)'s Polokwane conference.

But businessman Hugh Glenister and the Helen Suzman Foundation have challenged the decision in court, saying the Hawks were not set up in a way that would ensure they're independent of political pressure.

Glenister has always claimed the anyone in charge of the Hawks cannot be properly insulated from public pressure because of their position as a police officer and can thus be fired by a politician.

The Constitutional Court as already ruled in favour of Glenister, but after government redrafted the legislation to comply with that order, he still isn't happy.

The Helen Suzman Foundation agrees with him and says the Hawks are not properly independent.

The state says they're properly protected and that the courts don't have the right to tell the executive how to write its laws.