Correctional Services said that “matters are under control” at Johannesburg’s Sun City Prison on Wed.
Safety and Security Minister Charles Nqakula announced yesterday that the Scorpions would be disbanded and replaced by a new organised unit of the South African Police Service.
"The Scorpions will be dissolved and the organised crime unit of the police will be phased out and a new amalgamated unit will be created," Nqakula said during a debate on President Thabo Mbeki's state of the nation address.
He said the new unit would merge the "best experience of the Scorpions and the police's unit under the aegis of a single command and control point".
Nqakula's announcement follows a resolution taken at the ANC annual congress that the crime-busting unit be disbanded. The ANC's argument has been that the mandate the Scorpions had to both investigate and prosecute cases could lead to political abuse.
However, many observers have argued that the ANC was targeting the Scorpions because of its "no holy cow" approach to crime. This approach has seen the crime-busting unit tackling ANC heavyweights including former chief whip Tony Yengeni and current president Jacob Zuma.
Yesterday opposition parties came out against the announcement.
"In the face of international and local widespread public and political opposition, the ANC is deliberately weakening our ability to fight crime in order to protect itself," said DA MP Dianne Kohler Barnard.
ID leader Patricia de Lille said the Scorpions was established through an Act of Parliament.
"The Minister of Safety and Security has no right to undermine Parliament by coming here and telling us that the Scorpions will be dissolved," she said.
UDM leader Bantu Holomisa said his party would "resist at all cost, including resorting to legal action".
Holomisa also called for the creation of "an over-arching Ministry of Crime Prevention for the entire criminal justice system, covering the SAPS, Justice, Correctional Services, Home Affairs and Intelligence".
He said such a ministry would help to better coordinate the country's crime- fighting resources. - Sapa