Decision on Scorpions illegal, court hears

President Thabo Mbeki abdicated his power in deciding to disband the Scorpions, the Pretoria High Court heard on Wednesday.

United Democratic Movement leader Bantu Holomisa was in court listening as counsel for his and four other opposition parties argued that Mbeki and the Cabinet took their cue from the African National Congress on a decision to dissolve the Scorpions.

Advocate Michael Osborne told the court that the country’s executive took a decision that was not legal.

“Legality implies applying one’s mind and legality also requires one not abdicate power to an outside party,” he said.

He also said it was unfair to expect Parliament to overturn a decision on the Scorpions as it seemed to be a done deal.

“To leave it up to Parliament to clear something fundamentally wrong does not work.”

Osborne was arguing as a friend of the court in an application brought by Johannesburg businessman Hugh Glenister to stop the disbanding of the Scorpions.—Sapa

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