The DA condemns in the strongest terms the break-in at the Hawks Head Office this morning, where several computers were reportedly stolen from the Human Resources, Finance and Supply Chain departments.
Police Minister, Fikile Mbalula, must let the nation know what actions are being taken to find out who was responsible for the break-in and what contingencies are being put in place to stop similar incidents from happening. It should be one of the Minister’s priorities to ensure that in the future, this independent organised crime fighting unit is protected from all acts of intimidation, threats and attacks.
This incident is unprecedented in the history of the Hawks and it is probably not a coincidence that this shocking development takes place in the run-up to the most high-stakes ANC elective conference of the last 23 years. Seen in this light, it is quite likely that this break-in was a politically-motivated act as part of ANC factional fighting that is playing out in a public sector arena that is meant to be insulated from politics.
It is clear that there is a growing culture of intimidation in South Africa which is gravely concerning in a constitutional democracy like ours. There is a clear trend at the moment that those who speak out or take a stand against corruption are being targeted.
In 2016, files were stolen from the Helen Suzman Foundation; four months ago there was a break-in at the Office of the Chief Justice where 15 computers storing confidential information on South Africa’s 250 judges were stolen and just last week suspicious fires broke out in both the Gauteng and Eastern Cape Premiers’ offices.
Today’s break-in represents an incredibly serious setback and security breach in the Hawks Head Office and must receive Mbalula’s most undivided attention.
The DA will continue pushing for an independent organised crime fighting unit that is fully safeguarded so that the Hawks can go on fighting crime without fear of intimidation, threat or attack.
Source: Democratic Alliance