The Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI) is concerned at the widespread confusion reflected in the media over its role in dealing with allegations about an informer who is alleged to have assisted in an investigation in the Eastern Cape.
The DPCI believes it is necessary to set the record straight by placing the following on record.
In June 2018 seven suspects were arrested for conspiracy to rob a reputable butchery in East London. The success was a result of positive information. A number of hijacked vehicles were also confiscated during the operation.
On Saturday, 27 July 2019, the Daily Dispatch ran an article titled “Informer wants Hawks to pay for helping foil heist”. Whilst we respect the media freedom, it is critical that at every stage of this process it must be kept in mind that we are dealing with people’s lives and it is the responsibility of the media not to cross the line.
The DPCI is not going to admit or deny the existence of any informer in this matter. It will not be in the interest of justice. The confirmation or otherwise will only endanger possible witnesses. It is worth noting that the DPCI does not deal with the administration of the witness programme.
The wisdom of publishing this type of information is questionable. It is unclear how publishing such information would have, if any, assisted the so called informer. In a case where a legitimate informer was unhappy with the process, the best remedy would have been to refer him or her to the DPCI Judge who has powers in terms of section 17L (4) (a) of the South African Police Service Act of 1995.