Robbery at the offices of the Helen Suzman Foundation in Johannesburg
22 March 2016
The FW de Klerk Foundation would like to express its deep concern over the robbery that occurred at the offices of the Helen Suzman Foundation (HSF) on Sunday, 20 March 2016.
According to media reports, two well-dressed men and a woman broke into the HSF’s offices after threatening a security guard with a firearm. The robbers stole 11 computers, a printer and documents belonging to the HSF.
Accordingly, there is every indication that the motive for the crime was to obtain information - rather than simply to steal office equipment.
The HSF is, together with Freedom Under Law, currently involved in litigation before the Johannesburg High Court in which it is seeking the suspension of the Head of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (the Hawks), Major General Berning Ntlemeza. The HSF is arguing, inter alia, that Major General Ntlemeza’s appointment should be set aside because of “damning judicial findings impugning his integrity, honesty and fitness and propriety to hold such office.”
Allegations relating to improper political interference in institutions that are required by the Constitution to be independent - such as the Hawks and the National Prosecuting Authority - are at the centre of the current controversy regarding “state capture”.
It is of core importance to the continuation of constitutional government that such institutions should act in accordance with the Constitution and the Rule of Law.
Any action by any party to intimidate any person or organisation seeking to exercise their political rights, or their right to access the courts, would be fundamentally unconstitutional and would constitute a direct and serious threat to our constitutional democracy.
The FW de Klerk Foundation calls on the SA Police Service to investigate the robbery quickly and diligently, with a view to identifying and charging those responsible as soon as possible.
Issued by the FW de Klerk Foundation, 22 March 2016