scorpions get huge support

Eric Naki

Eric Naki

Opposition political parties have joined forces to reinforce the case of businessman Hugh Glenister, who is seeking an urgent interdict in the Pretoria high court against the government and the ANC's move to disband the Scorpions.

In his submission Glenister says the disbanding of the Scorpions "would not be rationally connected to a legitimate governmental purpose and the disbanding violates the government's constitutional obligations to initiate new constitutional legislation and to uphold the rights of every South African to life, dignity, property and security".

"Call me a concerned citizen. I believe our constitutional rights are being violated and parliament is being undermined by this reckless desire to destroy a functioning institution," he says in his affidavit.

The ACDP, DA, ID and UDM have filed a joint submission in the high court as amicus curiae, or friends of the court, saying the decision to pursue legislation disbanding the Scorpions was not made by any organ of state, but by the ANC in an effort to protect its members from investigation and prosecution.

"We contend that the continued existence of the Scorpions in its current form is an essential element in the fight against crime, a position reinforced by the Khampepe Commission. The reasons that government and ANC office-bearers have advanced for disbanding the Scorpions have never been sufficient," the parties say in a joint statement.

"To find the actual motive, one only needs to look at the statements by ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe at a press conference that the Scorpions are being disbanded because they allegedly target ANC members."

The parties said the ANC was abusing power and "subverting democracy" in its attempts to disband the unit. While they would continue to participate in parliamentary debates on the issue, the parties would monitor if public hearings were adequate for people to raise their views.