Scorpions: Answers needed

The government's decision to disband the Scorpions and replace them with a new amalgamated crime unit can only be welcomed if this is underlined by a genuine desire to streamline the country's crime-fighting offensive.

The government's decision to disband the Scorpions and replace them with a new amalgamated crime unit can only be welcomed if this is underlined by a genuine desire to streamline the country's crime-fighting offensive.

The reactions, however, from some quarters - mostly opposition political parties - are that this move appears to be sinister.

It is for this reason that we believe Safety and Security Minister Charles Nqakula should furnish adequate reasons why this crime-busting unit should be disbanded.

ID leader Patricia de Lille has argued that because the Scorpions were established through an Act of Parliament, Nqakula has no legitimate right to disband the unit. UDM leader Bantu Holomisa has threatened legal action should the minister go ahead with the plan.

There is a strong view that the Scorpions are being targeted by the ANC because they brooked no holy cows in their fight against corrupt members of the party.

To dispel this belief, Nqakula must explain why a unit he describes as having the best experience should be merged with another police unit - instead of both complementing each other.

In the absence of such an explanation, the state's plan to phase out the Scorpions will be shrouded in suspicion that the crack unit had bitten too close to the bone in the way they pursued their work.

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