Johannesburg (Agenzia Fides) – “We believe that the Government is not doing enough to demonstrate that it is serious in its efforts to prevent and combat corruption. Political rhetoric is often not accompanied by decisive action”, said His Exc. Mgr. Abel Gabuza, Bishop of Kimberley and President of the “Justice and Peace” Commission for the Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference, who backed the anti-corruption march organised on 30 September.
The march, attended by thousands of people, was organized by the opposition, trade unions and civil society organizations and was held in Pretoria and Cape Town.
According to information gathered by Fides, a number of surveys on political corruption have been hampered by government interference in investigations conducted by the so-called Hawks, a special body of the police in charge of investigations of this kind. A fact highlighted by Mgr. Gabuza, according to which “Justice and Peace is particularly concerned about the lack of decisive action in implementing the decision of the Constitutional Court calling for effective measures to enhance the independence of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigations (the Hawks)”.

“In 2012 – said the Bishop – the Constitutional Court found that the Hawks were not adequately independent from political interference and ordered rectifying legislation”.
“The government – continues Mgr. Gabuza – has dragged its feet when it comes to the restructuring of the Hawks to protect it from undue political interference as directed by the Constitutional Court”.

The President of Justice and Peace concluded by asking the involvement of Parliament, and not only the Executive, in deciding the future of the “Hawks”, in particular their autonomy in the administration of the police and the appointment of their chief. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 01/10/2015)