Public hearings on future of Scorpions start today

Public hearings on the bill relating to the possible dissolution of the Scorpions will be held throughout the country this week, parliament announced on Friday.

Public hearings on the bill relating to the possible dissolution of the Scorpions will be held throughout the country this week, parliament announced on Friday.

Parliament's portfolio committees on justice and constitutional development, and of safety and security, will conduct the hearings from today until Friday.

"All members of the public and media are invited to attend," parliament said in a statement.

The bill concerns the possible replacement of the directorate of special operations, known as the Scorpions, with a new division within the SA Police Service, to be known as the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation.

"One of parliament's core objectives is to enhance the participation of the public in the processes of parliament, the public's access to the institution and its members," it said.

"In this regard, information provided to the public is a vital focus of parliament. It is with this in mind that the committees will be conducting public hearings to further facilitate public involvement in the legislative process."

The hearings start at 10am.

Today the hearings will be held at the Mdantsane Indoor Sports Centre in East London and at the Johannesburg City Hall in Gauteng.

Tomorrow the sessions will be in Durban's Umlazi Indoor Sports Centre and Witbank's Lynnville Community Hall.

On Wednesday hearings will be at the Meropa Casino in Polokwane, and at the Progress Community Hall in Upington.

Thursday's hearings will be conducted at the Mafikeng Community Centre and the Mangaung municipality offices.

Friday's hearings will take place at the Ikhwezi Community Hall in Gugulethu.

On August 20 the constitutional court is to hear an application by Johannesburg businessman Hugh Glenister to stop the disbanding of the Scorpions.

Justice Minister Brigitte Mabandla and Safety and Security Minister Charles Nqakula are opposing the bid.

Glenister initially brought the case in the Pretoria high court but it was struck from the roll by Judge Willie van der Merwe, who ruled that the court did not have the jurisdiction to decide on the matter. - Sapa

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