Karel | Mar 29, 2018

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.