Search

 

Cablegate: Scorpions to Be Dismantled

VZCZCXRO1321
RR RUEHDU RUEHJO
DE RUEHTN #0217 3030825
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 290825Z OCT 08 CTG HSD 0177W ZDF ZDK
FM AMCONSUL CAPE TOWN
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 2861
INFO RUEHSA/AMEMBASSY PRETORIA 6220
RUEHDU/AMCONSUL DURBAN 3178
RUEHJO/AMCONSUL JOHANNESBURG 2041

UNCLAS CAPE TOWN 000217

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

C O R R E C T E D C O P Y PARA MARKING SBU

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: PREL PGOV SF
SUBJECT: SCORPIONS TO BE DISMANTLED

1. (SBU) On October 20, the African National Congress (ANC) pushed
through legislation to dissolve the Directorate of Public
Prosecutions and amend the South African Police Services Bill. The
October 20 meeting of Parliament's safety and security and justice
committees was a joint meeting of the two committees. Despite
appeals from opposition MPs for voting on the two Bills to be
postponed so as to allow for more consultation within parties to
decide if the Scorpions should be disbanded, ANC MPs steamed ahead,
endorsing the legislation by twelve votes to six. Even with three
of the strongest opposition parties, the Democratic Alliance (DA),
the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) and the Inkatha
Freedom party (IFP) against disbanding the Scorpions, the ANC used
their power as the majority party in Parliament to approve two
pieces of legislation, the South African Police Services Amendment
Bill and the National Prosecuting Authority Amendment Bill. On
October 23, the National Assembly formally voted on these two bills
and the ANC used its overwhelming majority to push through the
legislation 252 to 63. The legislation will be reviewed by the
National Council of Provinces, but that is likely to be a mere
formality.

2. (U) Opposition parties were unanimous in their criticism of the
speed in which the bills were passed. In the October 21 edition of
the Cape Argus, ANC MP Bulelani Magwanishe said opposition parties
had sufficient time to discuss their position and that no amount of
time would change the fact that parties were opposed to the
legislation. DA MP Tertius Delport described the two pieces of
legislation as "bad bills" which had nothing to do with increasing
the country's capability to fight crime.

3. (U) The Scorpions will be replaced by the Directorate of
Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI), who will be responsible for
organized crime investigations, but will come under the auspices of
the South African Police Service (SAPS) instead of operating
autonomously as the Scorpions did. The new DPCI will fall under
SAPS which has a very low rate of bringing cases to trial in
contrast to the Scorpions which have a 94 percent conviction rate.


4. (U) Comment. A perception exists among the South African public
and press that the Scorpions are being disbanded because they have
been successful in prosecuting senior ANC members. In 2008, the
Scorpions investigated ANC President Jacob Zuma for corruption,
however, the case was dismissed on technical grounds. The
investigation against Zuma resulted in increased pressure by the ANC
to disband the Scorpions and in fact, to discredit the entire
judicial system. Additionally, the move sends a negative message to
both the international and domestic community that the South African
Government is not serious about clamping down on organized crime.
There are also serious doubts whether some high priority cases will
continue now that the Scorpions have been disbanded. End comment.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Werewolf: Gordon Campbell On North Korea, Neo-Nazism, And Milo

With a bit of luck the planet won’t be devastated by nuclear war in the next few days. US President Donald Trump will have begun to fixate on some other way to gratify his self-esteem – maybe by invading Venezuela or starting a war with Iran. More>>

Victory Declared: New Stabilisation Funding From NZ As Mosul Is Retaken

New Zealand has congratulated the Iraqi government on the successful liberation of Mosul from ISIS after a long and hard-fought campaign. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Current US Moves Against North Korea

If Martians visited early last week, they’d probably be scratching their heads as to why North Korea was being treated as a potential trigger for global conflict... More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Lessons From Corbyn’s Campaign

Leaving partisan politics aside – and ignoring Jeremy Corbyn’s sensational election campaign for a moment – it has to be said that Britain is now really up shit creek... More>>

ALSO:

Another US Court: Fourth Circuit Rules Muslim Ban Discriminatory

ACLU: Step by step, point by point, the court laid out what has been clear from the start: The president promised to ban Muslims from the United States, and his executive orders are an attempt to do just that. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 
 
  • Pacific.Scoop
  • Cafe Pacific
  • PMC