Joint media statement by opposition parties in alphabetialc order (ACDP, DA, ID and UDM) Regarding the Scorpions (15 May 2008)

The ACDP, DA, ID and UDM yesterday filed a joint submission in the High Court as amicus curiae in the application brought by Mr Hugh Glenister to interdict the Government from disbanding the Directorate of Special Operations (DSO).

Our contention is that the decision to pursue legislation disbanding the Scorpions was not made by any organ of state, but by the ANC in an effort to protect its members from investigation and prosecution for alleged transgressions.

We contend that the continued existence of the Scorpions in its current form is an essential element in the fight against crime, a position reinforced by
the Khampepe Commission Report.

The reasons that Government and ANC office-bearers have advanced for disbanding the Scorpions have never been sufficient. We have noted that the Khampepe Commission Report dispels virtually all of the "concerns" that have been raised by the ANC relating to the Scorpions. To find the actual motive, one only needs look at the statements by ANC Secretary Gwede Mantashe at a press conference with the DA that the Scorpions are being disbanded because they allegedly target ANC members.

The motive and process being followed in the ANC's attempts to disband the Scorpions is an abuse of power and a subversion of democracy. We are united in our determination to prevent this undemocratic process that the ANC has initiated. We will pursue, jointly and separately, various steps to thwart the ANC's disgraceful attempt to undermine the fight against organised crime and corruption. One such step is our decision to apply to act as friends of the Court in the Glenister application. We believe that we are in a position to provide the court with a unique perspective.

We will continue to exhaust all parliamentary avenues when this legislation is debated. We will also vigilantly monitor whether the public hearings provide South Africans adequate opportunity to raise their views. We will do everything in our power to prevent the parliamentary process being subverted and the ANC using its majority in Parliament to rubberstamp a law that will weaken our country's crime fighting abilities and serves only the interests of certain ANC leaders.