Scorpions battle heading for constitutional court

Penwell Dlamini and Sapa

Penwell Dlamini and Sapa

Johannesburg businessman Hugh Glenister has instructed his legal team to appeal to the constitutional court for an order to prevent the government from disbanding the Scorpions.

The Pretoria high court yesterday left the door open for Glenister to take his application to the constitutional court when it struck the case off the roll.

A spokesman for Glenister, Dani Cohen, said he had a meeting with his legal team after his failed bid in the Pretoria high court yesterday.

Glenister has now allegedly instructed his legal team to take the matter to the highest court in the land.

Judge Willie van der Merwe said in a written judgment that the court did not have the jurisdiction to decide on the matter.

"I am of the opinion that this matter involves crucial and important political matters in which a high court has no jurisdiction but only the constitutional court," Van der Merwe said in his written ruling.

"I am of the view that this court has no jurisdiction to decide the matter but that it is a matter that could possibly fall within the jurisdiction of the constitutional court."

Glenister told reporters outside court yesterday: "I'm somewhat disappointed. I was hoping for a better answer ... but we obviously have to understand where the court is coming from."

Political parties, including the DA, ID, UDM and PAC, have vowed to continue with their fight against the disbandment of the elite crime-fighting unit after Glenister lost his application yesterday.

"The judge dismissed the application based on the court's jurisdiction and not on merit," said UDM leader Bantu Holomisa.