Private businessman, Hugh Glenister, who won the Constitutional Court’s 2011 ‘Glenister Judgement’ deeming the legislation that established anti-graft unit, the ‘Hawks’, to be unconstitutional, has requested that the National Council of Provinces, the Public Protector and the SA Human Rights Commission look into the redrafted SAPS Amendment Bill, which he believes constitutes an inadequate amendment of the legislation to meet the requirements of the Court.
On 22 June, Glenister and his legal counsel sent a letter to the offices of the Public Protector and the SA Human Rights Commission urging them to launch an investigation into the manner in which executive and legislative branches of government were attempting to implement the Constitutional Court’s order pertaining to the judgement.
Given the Public Protector’s authority and constitutional duty to intervene in matters threatening the ability of her office to strengthen constitutional democracy, Glenister believes the controversy surrounding the Hawks and the “superficial changes” to the SAPS Amendment Bill to fall within her mandate.
Following a second written request to the Public Protector on 5 July, Glenister’s counsel has called on the NCOP to look into the matter, given the significant amendments that they made to the Protection of State Information Bill in May this year.
“We would like the Committee on Security and Constitutional Development to consider the redrafted bill in light of the Constitutional Court’s judgement and to make amendments that ensure an independent unit not easily susceptible to political interference or pressure, and able to effectively fulfil its mandate of fighting corruption,” adds Glenister.
His counsel, Advocate Paul Hoffman says that the parliamentary Committee on Police, responsible for amending the legislation, largely ignored the recommendations of the 22 oral presentations made during the public participation process in April.
21 of the 22 submissions said that it was inappropriate to house the Hawks within the SAPS, as it they felt it would compromise the unit’s ability to conduct investigations without being influenced by political agendas.
“Public confidence in the SAPS is at an all-time low and the unit has been plagued by allegations of corruption from within, how will we be able to fight corruption off of this platform?” he adds.
Glenister urges these organisations to consider his requests ahead of the court-imposed deadline to remedy the legislation by 18 September.