CRIME intelligence officials raided the office of the Public Protector on Wednesday evening in an operation that was not sanctioned by the Hawks, its spokesperson McIntosh Polela said today (March, 03).
“What happened is that there was a raid at the office of the Public Protector last night by the crime intelligence,” Polela said.
“We condemn the raid and we didn’t sanction it and we are launching an investigation to deal with the people that are responsible.”
Polela said there was a “belief” that officials were looking for documents related to the Public Protector’s investigation into national police commissioner General Bheki Cele.
“The belief is they were looking for documents that Cele was refused access to during the investigation by the Public Protector.”
He said the Hawks were concerned about the incident.
“We need to emphasise that we are concerned that it is going to be seen as an intimidation of the office of the Public Protector and we need to put it on record that we respect and support the office of the Public Protector.”
Public Protector Thuli Madonsela last month issued a damning report against Cele that he allegedly unlawfully authorised a lease agreement for SA Police Service offices.
Cele has denied any wrongdoing.
The Public Protector’s spokesperson declined to comment immediately, saying he was drafting a statement.
“Right now, we are still working on the official comment,” said Oupa Segalwe.
“I can’t just say things without agreeing on an approach.”