Publication: Independent Online Issued: Date: 2007-10-15 Reporter: Sapa

Scorpions' 'Agenda' Worrying Youth League



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The ANC Youth League (ANCYL) plans to ask the Public Protector to investigate whether the Scorpions investigating unit has a political agenda and is abusing its power, the league said on Monday.

Spokesperson Zizi Kodwa said the ANCYL was in the process of making an appointment with the protector, Lawrence Mushwana, to discuss its concerns.

Kodwa said this followed media reports of a meeting by the Directorate of Special Operations (DSO), known as the Scorpions, held around the time of an ANC policy conference in June, at which the Scorpions' future and four high profile cases were discussed.

These were reportedly ANC deputy president Jacob Zuma, former transport minister Mac Maharaj, former Limpopo premier Ngoako Ramatlhodi and National Police Commissioner Jackie Selebi.

'Our democracy is in danger, we need to protect it now before it's late'

"On numerous occasions we have warned against organs of state [being] used as an extension of ANC constitutional structure, and/or operating as a private army pursuing narrow political agenda of individuals who are obsessed with power," a league statement read.

"The Office of the Public Protector is the only authority left with image and integrity with whom we have got an absolute confidence that it can deal with this manufactured demon impartially.

"Our democracy is in danger, we need to protect it now before it's late."

Kodwa said the ANCYL considered the discussion of ANC policy documents by the DSO as inappropriate.

"It's not for the Scorpions to discuss the resolutions of the ANC - it amounts to subversion."

He said the league was also against the Scorpions' "Hollywood style" tactics and that they allegedly did not uphold the principle of the presumption of innocence.

The league believed the unit was targeting certain people.

The terms of the request to the protector were being finalised, but he would be asked to reveal "if there is any individual behind a political agenda", Kodwa said.

According to the commission reports and draft resolutions taken at the conference and posted on the ANC website, the party resolved that in terms of peace and stability, there be a single police service under the command and control of the national police commissioner, and that the municipal/metro police, and the DSO be located within the police.

The DSO would be a special unit within the police to deal with organised crime.

Their political head is the justice department and they are accountable to Parliament.

Vusi Pikoli, the head of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), which includes the DSO, was suspended on September 24 by President Thabo Mbeki and will be the subject of an inquiry into whether he is fit to hold office.

NPA spokesperson Tlali Tlali said the authority had already said it would not comment on the report relating to the ANC documents.

Kodwa said that the protector's office had already found in favour of Zuma, regarded as a contender for the presidency, after he complained about the manner of an investigation into his alleged involvement in the arms deal.

Kodwa would not be drawn on whether there was an ANC element guiding the DSO's investigations. - Sapa

With acknowledgements to Sapa and Independent Online.