Inside job not ruled out in Hawks break-in
DA says crime unprecedented, politically motivated
POLICE have not ruled out the possibility of an inside job in the break-in and theft of several computers at the Hawks headquarters in Silverton, Pretoria, yesterday.
Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi said: “Everybody wants to know if it was an inside job.
“We don’t know… but we can’t rule it out.”
Computers kept in the human resources, finance and supplychain departments were stolen from the Promat Building, the home of the Hawks.
Mulaudzi said the stolen computers contained critical information because the human resources facilities carried profiles of the Hawks members.
“We don’t know what they (the thieves) want to do with such information,” Mulaudzi said.
He could not ascertain the number of computers stolen because he said investigators were still counting and assessing information.
But case dockets had not gone missing, as they were kept in a safe place.
“We have downloaded information from the CCTV camera, but we can’t talk about it now as we are still assessing it.
“Most of the information we will get at a later stage,” he added.
The acting national head of the Hawks, Lieutenant-General Yolisa Matakata, condemned the “unfortunate incident” and promised that an intensive investigation was under way.
Investigators were working on the scene and more information would be communicated in due course, said Matakata.
Zakhele Mbhele, DA spokesperson on the police, said the break-in was unprecedented and a politically motivated act.
Mbhele challenged Police Minister Fikile Mbalula to announce action to be undertaken by the police to apprehend the crime masterminds.
“It should be one of the minister’s priorities to ensure that in future, this independent organised-crime-fighting unit is protected from all acts of intimidation, threats and attacks,” he said.
Mbhele said that last year, files had been stolen from the Helen Suzman Foundation.
Four months ago there was a break-in at the Office of the Chief Justice where 15 computers storing confidential information on 250 judges were stolen.
And fires broke out under suspicious circumstances at the offices of the premiers of both Gauteng and the Eastern Cape last week.