Research boost for Scorpions

Eric Naki

Eric Naki

The latest research by the Institute for Security Studies indicating that the Scorpions have had success in fighting organised crime and convicting high-profile people has reinforced calls for the elite unit not to be incorporated into the police.

This week the United Democratic Movement called for the Scorpions, the investigative arm of the National Prosecuting Authority, to be spared imminent inclusion into the SAPS.

The ANC national conference last month resolved that the Scorpions should be disbanded or incorporated into the police within six months.

The ISS findings show that the Scorpions were succeeding in their fight against organised crime.

ISS researcher Tshehla Boyane said the Scorpions had arrested and convicted high-ranking people.

DA parliamentary leader Sandra Botha on Wednesday lashed out at the ANC's rhetoric about the criminal justice system and the judiciary.

Addressing businesspeople in Welkom, Free State, Botha said the ANC had taken it upon itself to champion the "transformation and restoring the integrity of the law enforcement units and the criminal justice system".

"But we find that what the Zuma-led ANC means by transformation and integrity amounts to no more than ensuring that the deployment of the party faithful is extended to the judiciary and to threaten any opposition to such moves with the full extent of its wrath," said Botha.

In the wake of the deteriorating relationship between the police and the Scorpions, the SA Human Rights Commission said the problem needed to be resolved.

SAHRC chief executive Tseliso Thipanyane said that these tensions "undermine public confidence in the agencies that are crucial in fighting crime and protecting the rights of all South Africans".