/ 20 March 2008

No decision on disciplining Scorpions boss

A decision on what disciplinary measures, if any, will be taken against Scorpions boss Leonard McCarthy over the Browse Mole report is expected ”soon”, the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development said on Thursday.

”A recommendation has been made to the minister and she will act. At the moment we have not even got to the stage where we have decided [what steps to take],” spokesperson Zolile Nqayi said.

He said a decision would be taken ”soon, in the next few weeks”.

Neither he nor Scorpions spokesperson Tlali Tlali could confirm reports that McCarthy had handed in his resignation.

”The NPA [National Prosecuting Authority] has not been presented with anything official to that effect,” said Tlali.

On Wednesday the National Assembly adopted a report, compiled by Parliament’s joint standing committee on intelligence (JSCI), on the Browse Mole document.

According to the JSCI, McCarthy had refused to cooperate with a task-team investigating the report, denying them access to computers, in particular that of senior Scorpions investigator Ivor Powell.

The JSCI fingered Powell as the man who produced the final, consolidated report and leaked it into the public domain.

JSCI chairperson Siyabonga Cwele told journalists last month that the committee had no authority to suggest what steps should be taken against McCarthy in light of its ”severe findings”. He said this was up to the executive.

The Scorpions had produced the Browse Mole report illegally and in contravention of their mandate, according to the JSCI.

Officially called the Special Browse Mole Consolidated Report, the 18-page top-secret document was leaked into the public domain in 2007. It claimed that then African National Congress deputy president Jacob Zuma was involved in a conspiracy to topple President Thabo Mbeki’s government. The plot was apparently driven by left-wing groups alienated by Mbeki’s government, such as the South African Communist Party, the Congress of South African Trade Unions and the ANC Youth League. The president of Angola and Libya’s leader were also said to be funding and supporting Zuma’s cause.

A task team appointed by the JSCI completed its investigation into the matter in November last year. – Sapa