In­side job not ruled out in Hawks break-in

DA says crime un­prece­dented, po­lit­i­cally mo­ti­vated

The Star Early Edition - - NEWS - RAPULA MOAT­SHE

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.

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