Citizen Reporter
2 minute read
22 May 2017
12:40 pm

DA’s Steenhuisen confirms police visit over chief justice burglary

Citizen Reporter

According to a report, the SAPS members' visit to the chief whip’s parliamentary offices could be illegal.

The DA’s chief whip in parliament, John Steenhuisen, has confirmed that four police investigators from Gauteng arrived unannounced at the national legislature two weeks ago in Cape Town to take a warning statement from him over his controversial tweet accusing the State Security Agency (SSA) of orchestrating a break-in at the offices of the Chief Justice in Johannesburg in March.

The Daily Maverick reported on Monday the visit to Steenhuisen’s parliamentary offices by the police officers from Gauteng’s detective services could be in contravention of parliamentary rules that require law-enforcement authorities, including the sheriff of the court, to be granted permission from the legislature’s presiding officers before coming to parliament.

Although Steenhuisen’s tweet did not directly accuse State Security Minister David Mahlobo of being behind the burglary at the office’s human resources unit – which saw 15 computers stolen with personal information of 150 judges and officials in April – the minister’s lawyers accused him of creating an “impression” that Mahlobo was behind the crime.

The Sunday Times reported at the time Mahlobo’s lawyers demanded that the tweet be deleted and an apology be posted on the social media site by the DA chief whip.


“By simply pitching up, the SAPS officials contravened the 2004 Powers, Privileges and Immunities of Parliament and Provincial Legislatures Act. Sections 4 and 5 of that law require anyone, including the Sheriff of the Court, to obtain the explicit permission of the presiding officers before coming to Parliament.

“According to Section 5, a person may not within the precincts (a) execute or serve or tender for service any summons, subpoena or other process … without the express permission of, or in accordance with the directives of, the Speaker [of the National Assembly] or the Chairperson [of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP)] or a person authorised by the Speaker or the Chairperson,” the report stated.

One of the Gauteng detectives, according to the Daily Maverick report, confirmed the visit to parliament, saying they did not receive authorisation from any presiding officer or National Assembly Speaker Baleka Mbete and her counterpart, NCOP chairperson Thandi Modise.

But the detective later backtracked on his comments and referred questions to another member of the team, who could not be reached by the Daily Maverick.


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