President Thabo Mbeki's role as a mediator in the Zimbabwean crisis took another knock after disclosures that he ignored the advice of two judges he commissioned to observe that country's 2002 general elections. Mbeki commissioned judges Sisi Khampepe and Dikgang Moseneke to observe the controversial Zimbabwean election in 2002.
The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and the South African Police Service are hard at work repairing their relationship ahead of a planned merger with the Scorpions, NPA acting head Mokotedi Mpshe said on Wednesday. "We're focusing primarily on salvaging whatever relations there are," Mpshe told reporters in Johannesburg.
The African National Congress (ANC) said on Tuesday the Khampepe report highlighted many of its concerns about the Directorate of Special Operations (DSO), which led to its resolution to have the unit moved to the police. "That report raises the same concerns we are raising, which led to the raising of the ANC resolution," said the party's secretary general.
Debate on the future of the Scorpions gained new steam on Monday as the government released a report from an inquiry it had commissioned into the elite detective unit. The Scorpions still have a role to play in the country's crime-fighting efforts, states the report that was submitted to President Thabo Mbeki two years ago.
The existence of the Scorpions is "as valid today as it was at conception", says the Khampepe report released on Monday. "Despite indications that crime levels are dropping, it is my considered view that organised crime still presents a threat that needs to be addressed through an effective comprehensive strategy," states the report.
President Thabo Mbeki's government has approved the disbanding of the elite Scorpions crime-fighting unit, bowing to pressure from supporters of rival Jacob Zuma who accused it of political abuse. Mbeki's Cabinet adopted two Bills last week paving the way for the end of the Directorate of Special Operations.
The police are obliged to investigate fraud and corruption charges against Scorpions boss Gerrie Nel if a criminal complaint has been brought, the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) said on Friday. This would be necessary, even if the complaint was the latest salvo in the police's ongoing spat with the Scorpions, said senior researcher Jake Moloi.