MEDIA STATEMENT ISSUED BY THE SOUTH AFRICAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION REGARDING THE REPORTED UNEXPECTED VISIT BY MEMBERS OF SAPS TO THE OFFICE OF THE PUBLIC PROTECTOR
Date: Friday, 04 March 2011
The South African Human Rights Commission is calling for an urgent investigation into the reported unexpected “visit” to the Office of the Public Protector by two South African Police Service officers.
According to reports the two officers went to the office to request information relating to the report that the Public Protector released against the SAPS National Commissioner. The report made a negative finding against the Department of Public Works and the National Commissioner for their signing of a lease agreement which would have seen the police headquarters relocating to a new building.
While the Commission notes the statements released by Office of the Public Protector itself and that of the National Commissioner, the Commission is however of the view that the visit raises serious concerns particularly in relation to the independence of institutions supporting democracy.
Constitutional institutions such as the Public Protector and the SA Human Rights Commission must be allowed to conduct its work without fear, favour or prejudice. Any attempt to frustrate the work of these institutions, whether real or perceived, must be viewed as an affront to justice and constitutional democracy.
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