WC note concerns about Hawks independence | Western Cape Government

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WC note concerns about Hawks independence

24 August 2018

WC note concerns about Hawks independence

24 August 2018

Statement by Minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning, Anton Bredell.

The Western Cape Minister of Local Government has expressed concern regarding the alleged political bias of the Hawks, following testimony delivered by Former deputy finance minister Mcebisi Jonas before the inquiry into State Capture, chaired by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, today.

Jonas testified on the record that the Head of the Hawks anti-corruption unit had solicited help to sweep a corruption investigation under the carpet, purely because the matter had been raised by the Democratic Alliance.

Jonas said he refused to sign a draft statement presented to him by the Head of the Hawks anti-corruption unit, who allegedly stated that they wanted to “kill the case” as it was a “DA matter”. Jonas further testified that this statement was brazenly made in the presence of his lawyer.

Anton Bredell, provincial minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning in the Western Cape, says the comments raise the alarm bells on whether the Hawks would properly investigate corruption complaints he had laid related to opposition governed municipalities in the province.

“Over the past five years we have asked the Hawks to investigate serious matters of alleged corruption and maladministration in several towns. These include Beaufort-West, Kannaland, Bitou, Oudtshoorn and George. In four of these cases, the complaints related to periods when the councils were led by the ANC, either outright or in coalition. In the case of George – a DA-led Council - I personally requested the Hawks to investigate a procurement matter as we have a zero tolerance approach to instances of alleged corruption, regardless of who is in charge,” said Bredell.

Bredell said that he had yet to see a single case go to trial or reach a conclusion.

“We also do not get progress reports or updates. This leaves us with very limited room to move. The inaction often means there is major instability in some of these councils due to the lack of progress with people that are being investigated. These individuals often remain part of the councils. Given the testimony and allegations raised by Mr. Jonas, I am concerned about the independence of the Hawks and the South African Police Service in serving the people of a province led by the DA.”

Bredell is also concerned about the possibility that the anti-DA sentiment in criminal justice matters may stretch beyond the Hawks.

“We must now ask how far this sentiment goes. The sentiment seems to imply sabotage of the opposition by the Hawks and other investigative authorities. Why do we have a massively under resourced police service despite years of requests for more resources? Why do we not see convictions for the arson and sabotage of our rail infrastructure? I can go on. These are all matters that the Province has no operational control over and our requests go unanswered for years”.

Bredell is calling on the Hawks to provide reassurance on their investigations in the Western Cape. “I will take this matter to the Western Cape cabinet for further consideration,” said Bredell.


Media Enquiries: 

James-Brent Styan

Spokesperson for the Minister of Local Government, Environmental Affairs and Development Planning, Anton Bredell

Mobile:                   084 583 1670

Telephone:            021 483 2820

E-mail:                    James-Brent.Styan@westerncape.gov.za