Documents/The Safe Society/Justice and Constitutional Development/
At a glance
The government’s decision to disband the Directorate of Special Operations (DSO), in line with the ANC’s resolution at Polokwane, is a transparent attempt to destroy the most effective corruption-busting force in the country. The only conclusion that can be draw is that the ANC wants to get rid of the DSO to protect prominent members of the majority party. Besides the seven convicted criminals on the ANC’s National Executive Committee (NEC), six NEC members are currently the subjects of ongoing criminal investigations.
This document sets out the DA’s argument as to why the Scorpions should be retained within the National Prosecuting Authority and sets out the following recommendations:
- For the draft legislation intending to close down the DSO be rejected entirely on the grounds of being fundamentally flawed;
- For the recommendations of the Khampepe Commission Report to be respected and implemented within the next three months;
- For the members of the Executive who failed to fulfil their mandate in respect of the DSO and the SAPS to be held fully accountable; and
- For the DSO to remain in its current location, within the NPA.
Documents to Download
- Scorpions_document.pdf (94 kb)
THE CASE FOR RETAINING THE SCORPIONS
The government’s decision to disband the Directorate of Special Operations (DSO), in line with the ANC’s resolution at Polokwane is a transparent attempt to destroy the most effective corruption-busting force in the country.
The only conclusion to draw is that the ANC wants to get rid of the DSO to protect prominent members of the ruling party. Besides the seven convicted criminals on the ANC’s National Executive Committee (NEC), six NEC members are currently the subject of ongoing criminal investigations. At least two of these are under investigation by the DSO.
In the absence of a cogent argument from the ANC why the DSO should be disbanded, it can only be assumed that they are motivated by the desire to protect ANC members from any current and future corruption investigations.
It is important to note that the charges of corruption and defeating the ends of justice would not have been brought against National Police Commissioner Jackie Selebi had it not been for investigations carried out by the DSO. The same is true in the case of the indictment which has been brought against ANC President Jacob Zuma.
In time, given the record of many members of the ANC, further investigations by the DSO would no doubt reveal the extent of the web of corruption that surrounds the ANC.
The ANC’s resolution to disband the DSO, and government’s apparent willingness to acquiesce to this request, not only displays an arrogant disregard for public opinion, but also blatantly ignores the Khampepe Commission recommendation that the DSO be retained in its current form. This recommendation, it should not be forgotten, was adopted and approved by Cabinet and the President.
The ANC’s unedifying rush to disband the DSO illustrates the contempt with which they hold democratic institutions. Dismantling the DSO will require a number of legislative amendments, which will need to comply with the constitutional requirement of public participation.
The Speaker of Parliament, Baleka Mbete, has gone on record stating that the ANC’s self imposed deadline of June 2008 is “do-able”. This perfectly illustrates just how compromised Mbete is on these kinds of matters. As the Chairperson of the ruling party and the head of the political committee that co-ordinates relations between the ANC and Parliament, it is clear that her loyalties lie much more with furthering the agenda of the ANC, than with protecting and upholding Parliament’s constitutionally defined role.
Mbete’s statement reinforces the perception that following due process is irrelevant to the ANC, and that they will do as they please in their rush to protect themselves from any further embarrassing revelations that might flow from future DSO investigations.
The purpose of this document is to present the case for the retention of the DSO in its current form - in the NPA. This is done to differentiate between fact and fiction and to show why the ANC’s decision to disband the DSO can only be for political and not operational reasons.
The DSO is one of the last, if not actually the last, remaining institutions that are effective in exposing corruption and dealing with complex investigations, such as those related to organised crime. If we were to lose the DSO, we would lose a great deal of our ability to tackle organised criminal activities, and allow criminal syndicates to contribute even more to our already dangerously high levels of organised crime.
We would also lose a great deal of our international credibility, as investors would see that government is not serious about combating crime – which has already been identified as a major impediment to increased investment in South Africa. This, in turn, would hamper economic growth and development for all.