UDM slams ANC over Scorpions

Eric Naki

Eric Naki

United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa has criticised the ANC for openly attacking the Scorpions.

Holomisa said yesterday the UDM rejected ANC calls for the closure or incorporation of the Scorpions into the police because such calls were made by people who were themselves being investigated by the unit.

He said the ANC was accusing the Scorpions of targeting its members unfairly, "but the truth of the matter is that the ANC's deployment strategy was to appoint its members to high-profile positions, and many of those appointments were ill-advised and an example of cronyism and nepotism".

The UDM leader said this strategy had turned out to be institutionalised corruption. The pillaging and looting of state resources by some of these deployees, as well as concerns expressed by the public, had led to the establishment of the Scorpions by Parliament in 1999.

"Shall we now ask the Scorpions and other law enforcement agencies to turn a blind eye to corruption and fraud whenever the suspect happens to be a high-profile ANC member? The demonising and discrediting of the Scorpions was started by, among others, the late Brett Kebble, who had his own problems with the laws of this country.

"Today everybody knows that he bankrolled the ANC and its youth leadership in order to influence them to close down this unit," said Holomisa.

He lambasted convicted fraudster Schabir Shaik and others for trying to discredit the Scorpions and its leadership.

"The UDM feels that the timing of calls for the suggested closure of this unit or its inclusion into the police is not good, given the fact that the very people who are campaigning against the Scorpions are subjects of its investigations.

"The Scorpions still have a parliamentary mandate to investigate and charge all those who have been implicated in the arms deal. The UDM, therefore, totally rejects any suggestions that the Scorpions should either be disbanded or attached to the police," Holomisa added.