Following the recent slick break in at Hawks headquarters, a report from the investigative bodies says this could be an inside job.
Buzzsouthafrica gathered on Tuesday that the Hawks National headquarters in Pretoria was burgled with computers and some hardware containing sensitive information about people in the special crime unit being stolen.
Also stolen was a hard drive which stored information about what is thought to have been the irregular appointments of numerous people to senior and administrative positions made by Ntlemeza, who is fighting his dismissal by Police Minister Fikile Mbalula in the Supreme Court of Appeal, in Bloemfontein.
Hawks says the theft of computers raises suspicions that it was a “rogue intelligence job”.
Though Hawks spokesman Brig Hangwani Mulaudzi confirmed that an internal investigation into appointments within the organisation was under way, the body noted the existence of a “shadow state”, where criminal elements in state and crime intelligence were diverting resources for their own agenda, Gareth Newham, head of the governance, crime and justice division at the Institute for Security Studies, said on Wednesday.
According to Gareth Newham, head of the governance, crime and justice division at the Institute for Security Studies, buildings or offices which handled highly sensitive matters were subject to minimum information security standards. Hence, it is not easy to break in without having full knowledge about how the buildings are protected and how the card system works.
“You wouldn’t want to risk breaking in for old computers. This suggests that it is not about making money,” he concluded saying.
Hawks spokesperson Brigadier Hangwani Mulaudzi who tried to allay people’s fear on the matter said that no dockets were taken. However, forensic and fingerprint officials still had to determine whether any documents were missing.
“There is something strange about this break-in. There was no sign of forced entry. The area that was broken into is highly secure.”
“The thieves went for specific computers. They walked past numerous offices leaving behind valuable equipment and went to certain rooms where these computers were kept. If that does not speak to an inside job I don’t know what does,” Malaudi said, giving the assurance that a “crack team” will lead the investigation.
Meanwhile, the Hawks denied that the break-in shows it is incompetent and unable to protect even itself.
Deputy Police Minister Bongani Mkongi said dismissing links between the burglaries at the Office of the Chief Justice and the Hawks would be a mistake.
He said that a level of lawlessness was driving these crimes, including the fires at the offices of two different premiers.
“We are very much concerned, and I don’t believe that dismissing the links would be a solution. If there are links, we must try to get all those links in order for us to be able to resolve this particular matter. Other people can link this also to the burning and arson at the premier’s offices, both in Gauteng and the Eastern Cape. What is this lawlessness that undermines the authority of the state?” said Mkongi.