Police raid: DA condemns raid on Public Protectorís Office
Lindiwe Mazibuko, DA National Spokesperson
3 March 2011
The Democratic Alliance (DA) condemns the reported raid on the Public Protector’s Office by members of the SAPS last night. Such actions suggest that our police service is being abused for political revenge by some of its members.
Commissioner Cele has denied any knowledge of this raid. However, we have seen the SAPS retaliate against its perceived enemies before.
Last year, Commissioner Cele denounced Mzilikazi wa Afrika after that reporter implicated the commissioner in an irregular property deal that eventually lead to his censure from the Public Protector. Within a matter of days, Mr wa Afrika was arrested by the SAPS on flimsy charges that were later dropped.
Last week, Commissioner Cele chastised the Public Protector, Adv. Thuli Madonsela, for her criticism of his conduct in the Roux Shabangu property deal where she said ‘Cele’s conduct was improper, unlawful and amounted to maladministration.’ Now, her office has been raided by the SAPS.
This latest incident, if it is confirmed that it did occur, raises many serious questions: Who authorised the raid? Were those involved in any way linked to the commissioner? How can raids of this significance be conducted without the commissioner’s knowledge? Does the commissioner have control of the SAPS?
Importantly, why was the Public Protector’s office targeted in this manner? If any documents were needed for a bona fide police investigation, the SAPS could easily have requested those documents from the Public Protector, without a raid being necessary.
The DA will be writing to the Minister of Police, Minister Nathi Mthethwa, to request a full departmental enquiry into who authorised this raid, and how it was carried out. This kind of intimidation is typical of authoritarian states that abuse the police for the purposes of protecting powerful elites rather than actually protecting the public.