Hawks need to be operationally independent from police service‚ Popcru says

Image: BAFANA MAHLANGU/Sowetan.

The Police and Prisons Civil Rights Union (Popcru) said on Sunday the Hawks should be operationally independent from the police service and should have its own budget.

Addressing a media briefing after a special national executive committee (NEC) meeting at the weekend‚ Popcru general secretary Nkosinathi Theledi said the NEC had deliberated at length about the damaged image and the role of the Hawks.

“We find it worrying that the Hawks lack capacity. Even some of the individuals‚ their qualifications do not tally to the positions they have‚” Theledi said.

Popcru president Zizamele Cebekhulu said a new turnaround plan was needed for the Hawks.

“Some of the cases they are handling are beyond their capability‚” Cebekhulu said.

Theledi said the overall independence of the Hawks needed to be looked at‚ at the level of operations.

“The fact that they rely on one budget with the police means the head of the Hawks has to regularly ask for resources from the police.

“What becomes more problematic is the manner in which the head is compelled to disclose cases for accounting purposes and thus compromising the confidentiality of the cases‚” Theledi said.

He said all this resulted in duplication of functions and led to competition instead of working together.

Cebekhulu said the Hawks’ budget must be independent from that of the police.

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