ANC demands release of memo

Anna Majavu

Anna Majavu

Calls are mounting for the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to release a copy of a memorandum in which Bloemfontein's Scorpions staff allege they "were ordered" to find incriminating evidence to enable police to arrest ANC Free State chairman Ace Magashule.

The NPA head office is believed to be investigating the complaint made by junior Scorpions staff in Bloemfontein against Free State chief special investigator, Shadrack Sibiya.

Junior investigators claim that Sibiya instructed them to come up with sufficient evidence for the police to arrest Magashule before the ANC conference in July, - so as to remove him from the race for the chairman's post.

Yesterday, ANC treasurer general Matthews Phosa wrote to NPA head Mokotedi Mpshe, asking for "a copy of the NPA memorandum about the alleged involvement of the Scorpions in a politically motivated investigation against Magashule".

ANC spokesman Carl Niehaus said: "It is a matter of national interest that the ANC be given a copy of the memorandum."

He told Sowetan: "If the NPA does give it to us, chances are that we will release it to the public."

NPA spokesman Tlali Tlali would not confirm that he would release the memorandum to the ANC.

"We will consider any request as and when it comes," said Tlali.

Independent Democrats' leader Patricia de Lille says the memorandum should be released to show "there is no political interference in the Scorpions' work and to avoid any speculation about their independence".

But Dianne Kohler-Barnard of the DA does not agree.

"This is a confidential memorandum about a matter that is currently under investigation.

"It is appalling that members of the Scorpions are again leaking documents to the media while there is an investigation under way," she says.

David Bruce, of the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation, says the allegations were no reason to disband the Scorpions.

"There was always a possibility for individuals in the Scorpions to be politically manipulated," he said.