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Sat Jul 30 13:14:15 SAST 2016

‘Deep suspicions’ about who robbed Helen Suzman Foundation offices

TMG Digital | 21 March, 2016 12:45
The Helen Suzman Foundation director Francis Antonie. File photo
Image by: NewsFlash NewsAgency via Twitter

The Helen Suzman Foundation (HSF) on Monday hinted at a sinister motive behind a robbery at its Parktown‚ Johannesburg offices a day earlier.

"This was no ordinary robbery"‚ said HSF director Francis Antonie.

“The thieves knew exactly what they were after. We obviously do not know who they were‚ but we have our deep suspicions.”

An HSF statement Monday said robbers held “up an unarmed security guard at the entrance to the premises…made directly for the HSF’s offices on the second floor of the building and removed its computers”.

"After forcing the guard to open the gate‚ the invaders drove their vehicle into the basement of the building‚ where they knew there was a lift to the second floor‚” Antonie said.

“Other businesses in the building were left alone. Nothing else of value besides the computers was taken.”

Although it did not say he was responsible‚ the HSF statement noted that among the issues it had recently embarked on litigation against the government” on was one seeking “to interdict the head of the Hawks‚ Major-General Berning Ntlemeza‚ from exercising his powers”.

This interdict‚ done in conjunction with Freedom under Law‚ sought to remove Ntlemeza “pending a review of the processes leading to his appointment”. The HSF said he was appointed by President Jacob Zuma “notwithstanding previously damning judicial findings impugning his integrity‚ honesty and fitness”.

"This action against a public-interest NGO is an example of the illegality running riot in our country‚” Antonie said.

“We deplore it. The HSF wants nothing more than a country which protects its citizens’ rights through the due process of law.

“The HSF calls on all civil society organisations‚ the business community as well as the public at large to stand together and speak out loudly in defence of the ever-growing threat to the hard-won freedoms enshrined in our Constitution.”

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