The closure of the Scorpions will protect corrupt and criminal politicians from prosecution, the Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions warned yesterday.
The Scorpions would lose its ability to independently investigate state officials if it was incorporated into the police, said Billy Downer SC.
"In my view, you want to free your investigators from the political control of the police," Downer said at a conference in Johannesburg on economic crime.
President Thabo Mbeki in February announced that the Scorpions would be dissolved to merge with the South African Police Service. But, a Johannesburg businessman is planning to challenge this decision in the Constitutional Court.
Downer said there was nothing wrong with the national police commissioner reporting to the Safety and Security minister, as was the case in most countries around the world. But that did imply political control over the police and another independent investigating body was needed to investigate and prosecute complex crimes and corruption. "That is why the FBI was created. prosecutorial independence is entrenched in the Constitution." - Sapa