Glenister refuses to let go
The public protector and the SA Human Rights Commission have been drawn into the Hawks controversy.
After the Scorpions were dissolved in 2008, businessman Hugh Glenister approached the Constitutional Court to argue that the legislation that governed the Hawks - the Scorpions' replacement - was flawed.
Last year, the court agreed and found that the legislation was "inconsistent with the constitution and invalid to the extent that it fails to secure an adequate degree of independence" [for the Hawks].
It ordered that the legislation be amended. T he SAPS Amendment Bill was then drawn up by a team from the Civilian Secretariat for Police, the SA Police Service and officials from the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development.
The parliamentary police portfolio committee made changes to the bill and the National Assembly accepted it last month.
But Glenister said the changes were minimal and "cosmetic".
He said 21 of the 22 public submissions stating that the changes were "detrimental to the independent and effective combating of corruption" were not taken into consideration by the portfolio committee.
Glenister warned that he would return to the Constitutional Court if the redrafted bill were passed in its current form.
He has asked the public protector and the commission to investigate the way in which government's executive and legislative branches implemented the court order.
"We are all on the same side in this fight. We need to take all reasonable measures to protect human rights by equipping South Africa with the best possible vehicle to combat corruption," said Glenister.
But Zweli Mnisi, spokesman for Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa, said: "We would urge Glenister to respect the process as it unfolds because, in the final analysis, it would be the Constitutional Court that determines the constitutionality of this legislation."
When the Hawks and the secretariat made their presentations on the bill to parliament in March, Glenister's a dvocate, Paul Hoffman, and the DA's Dianne Kohler Barnard, said it would not pass constitutional muster.
A spokesman for the public protector said Glenister's complaint was being assessed . The commission said it would "look into the matter".