SAPS Amendment Act

In the landmark decision in Glenister v President of the Republic of South Africa and Others 2011 (3) SA 347 (CC), the HSF intervened as a friend of the court in challenging the constitutionality of various sections of the SAPS Act 68 of 1995 ("the SAPS Act") for its failure to secure the independence of the unit charged with investigating and combating corruption and organised crime.

Intro

The Constitutional Court found Chapter 6A of the SAPS Act to be inconsistent with the Constitution and invalid to the extent that it failed to secure an adequate degree of structural and operational autonomy for the Directorate of Priority Crime Investigation ("the Hawks").  The issue in this case, therefore, was not the location of the Hawks within the South African Police Service, but whether the SAPS Act ensured sufficient insulation from, among others, undue political interference.

The Constitutional Court found that the Hawks did not enjoy sufficient structural and operational autonomy for the following key reasons:

  • the absence of specially secured conditions of employment;
  • the imposition of oversight by a committee of political executives; and
  • the subordination of the Hawks' power to investigate to the dictates of the national Executive, through the policy guidelines.

Briefs

Press Releases

SAPS Amendment Act Judgement (The Hawks)

13 December 2013. The Helen Suzman Foundation ("HSF") notes the unanimous judgment of the Full Bench of the Western Cape Division of the High Court ("the High Court") in 'the matter of the Helen Suzman Foundation v the President of the Republic of South Africa and Others'.

Helen Suzman Foundation goes to Court over SAPS Amendment Act

The Helen Suzman Foundation has filed papers with the Constitutional Court to oppose the South African Police Service (SAPS) Amendment Act. The Foundation made its written submission to the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee for the Police on the SAPS Amendment Bill which was aimed at restructuring the Hawks. The HSF has been involved in this process since 2008 when we presented to Parliament opposing the dissolution of the Scorpions.

The Helen Suzman Foundation responds to Government’s comments on the passing of the Hawks Bill

The Helen Suzman Foundation notes that the National Assembly has passed the South African Police Services Amendment Bill, aimed at complying with the Constitutional Court's judgment in the Glenister case. In Glenister, the Court declared chapter 6A of the SAPS act, which established the Hawks, to be invalid and unconstitutional for failing to provide the Hawks with adequate independence to effectively fight corruption.

SAPS Amendment Bill Reorganising the Hawks

The Helen Suzman Foundation (HSF) has made its written submission to the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee for the Police on the South African Police Service (SAPS) Amendment Bill aimed at restructuring the Hawks. The HSF has been involved in this process since 2008 when we presented to Parliament opposing the dissolution of the Scorpions.

Files

Submissions

South African Police Service Amendment Bill Submission

A consequence of the Glenister judgment is the Government’s obligation to draft legislation to abide with the Court’s ruling. It did this by drafting the South African Police Services Amendment Bill. The HSF made a detailed submission to Government in response to the Bill. In summary, our analysis argues that the Bill does not meet the requirements of the Constitution and the Court, in particular that the Hawks (or its successor) cannot remain within the purview of the police.