IN the early hours of Saturday morning brazen thieves broke into the Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng’s private office and stole 15 computers containing sensitive information on Constitutional Court judges and officials.
Acting national police commissioner Lieutenant-General Khomotso Phahlane has set up a team of detectives to investigate the break-in at Mogoeng’s office.
Police spokeswoman Athlenda Mathe said they were investigating the break-in and theft‚ while detectives were working around the clock to bring the perpetrators to book.
Mathe said Phahlane viewed the crime as an attack on the judiciary‚ the Sunday Times reported.
Mogoeng’s spokesperson confirmed the break-in at the new offices in Midrand‚ Johannesburg‚ saying thieves managed to get away with computers that were in an office where the Human Resources and Facilities Units are located.
“The stolen computers contain important information about Judges and officials of the OCJ [office of the chief justice] and constitute a huge setback for the entire administration of the justice‚” he said.
“The break-in was reported to the South African Police Services (SAPS) and various units from SAPS were dispatched to the OCJ to conduct further investigations. Upon being informed of this crime‚ the Chief Justice remarked that this 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 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.