The ANC has called on law enforcement agencies to “use all resources” to ensure that those involved with a burglary at the Office of the Chief Justice are dealt with “to the full extent of the law.”
In a statement issued on Saturday evening‚ the ruling party said all South Africans should be outraged by the break in.
Burglars made off with 15 computers containing sensitive information from Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng’s Midrand offices‚ in the early hours of Saturday morning.
The Office of the Chief Justice is the administrative hub for the South African judiciary.
Office of the Chief Justice spokesman Nathi Mncube confirmed the break-in. He said the stolen computers were taken from an office where the Human Resources and Facilities Units are located.
“The stolen computers contain important information about judges and officials of the OCJ and constitute a huge setback for the entire administration of the justice‚” Mncube said.
He said the incident was reported to the police who have begun investigating.
Mncube said Mogeong believes the crime “must be viewed in a very serious light and the police ought to do everything in their power to ensure that the culprits are brought to book.”
The ANC echoed these sentiments.
“This dastardly criminal act‚ targeting the office of the highest judicial officer in our country‚ should leave all South Africans outraged and our law enforcement officers determined to speedily find and bring to book its perpetrators‚” the party said.
“The African National Congress has always held the view that one criminal act‚ regardless of against whom it is perpetrated‚ is one too many. Targeting the Office of the Chief Justice however is a direct assault on the sanctity of the institutions we‚ as South Africans‚ hold dear as propping up our Constitutional order.”
The party called on the Office of the Chief Justice to ensure remaining sensitive information is secured “and mitigate against any efforts to undermine or compromise the dispensing of justice as a result of the break in.”
The ANC cautioned against speculation over the motive for the crime.
“Now is not the time to seek to infer to the break-in its motives nor is it time to play to the gallery of conspiracy theories. What is required is for a collaborative effort across our law enforcement agencies‚ sparing no effort and with the full support and confidence of our people‚ to make those responsible to account‚” the party said.
The break-in comes a day after the Constitutional Court delivered a scathing judgment in a matter that saw the delivery of social grants in South Africa under threat.
During the judgment‚ in which it extended the contract of Cash Paymaster Services for 12 months‚ the court was critical of Social Development Minister Bathabile Dlamini for allowing a situation where the payment of grants to more than 17 million South Africans was under threat.