The office of Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng was robbed 15 computers in the early hours of Saturday morning.
The computers were containing important and sensitive information about the judiciary.
The burglary took place after a period in which the courts have upheld the Constitution and the law in the face of executive disdain for due process and the rule of law.
Member of the advisory council at the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (Casac) and public law professor, Richard Calland, says trusted South Africans should provide an independent oversight to the investigation or inquiry.
Calland says an investigation needs to establish if the robbery was an ordinary crime or political crime involving those in power in the private or public sector.
We need to be able to trust the answer. How can we trust the answer when the investigating authority is led by the people who are themselves the people that we cannot trust, the courts and other sources of information are telling us that they cannot be trusted.— Prof Richard Calland, public law professor at UCT
This is either ordinary crime or orchestrated and organised by either intelligent officer working privately for powerful actors or even worse working for government or part of the government such as the President.— Prof Richard Calland, public law professor at UCT
People who care about this democracy must realise this an important matter. They must organise, mobilise, and make sure those in power listen.— Prof Richard Calland, public law professor at UCT
Last year the Helen Suzman Foundation was also robbed computers by a group of armed robbers.
The foundation director, Francis Antonie, explains that it looked like the armed robbers knew exactly what they wanted.
The burglary came after the foundation challenged the appointment of Berning Ntlemeza as the head of Hawks.
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This article first appeared on 702 : Burglary at Mogoeng's office could be turning point for SA democracy- expert