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Media statement on the burglary at the National Department: Office of the Chief Justice, Midrand, Gauteng

20 March 2017

As has been reported in the media over the weekend, the head office of the national department: Office of the Chief Justice in Midrand was broken into in the early hours of Saturday, 18 March 2017.

The OCJ was established by a Presidential proclamation in 2010 as a national Department which is responsible for the administration of the Superior Courts and providing support to the Chief Justice as head of the Judiciary.

At this stage, it can be confirmed that a number of computers were stolen from one office at the OCJ premises. The type of information that was potentially stored on these computers comprises human resource information of Judges and employees of the OCJ.

There is currently an investigation that is being led by the South African Police Service (SAPS), who responded promptly to the incident. Both the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development and the Office of the Chief Justice are cooperating with the SAPS in this regard. We have been advised not to divulge any further information as it may compromise the investigation.

As with many other government premises, the offices of the OCJ is guarded by a private security company. It is also important to note that government has already started to put in place measures to strengthen security at all critical infrastructure of the State. Parliament is presently seized with the Critical Infrastructure Bill which is aimed at overhauling the National Key Points Act. The Bill has been published for public comment. The intended legislation will ensure that stringent security measures are put in place to enhance security at high-risk premises and infrastructure.

We would like to reiterate that information relating to Judges is not for public consumption and we are not at liberty to disclose any details pertaining thereto. The Ministry is consulting with colleagues in the security cluster to put in place the necessary measures of ensuring the safety of judicial offices.

Issued by the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development

Mthunzi Mhaga
Spokesperson for the Ministry of Justice and Correctional Services