SA Crime Quarterly - Volume 2008, Issue 24, 2008
Volumes & issues
Volume 2008, Issue 24, 2008
Author Chandre GouldSource: SA Crime Quarterly 2008 (2008)More Less
This edition of the Crime Quarterly thus focuses almost exclusively on the matter of the Scorpions. Unlike most other editions of the journal we have made space for several opinion pieces. Moe Shaik, formerly Deputy Intelligence Coordinator of the National Intelligence Coordinating Committee presents the ANC's reasons for seeking the disbanding of the Scorpions, including that the Scorpions have 'entrenched a system of patronage' through targeted and politically motivated prosecutions, and have collected intelligence without having to be accountable to the same oversight bodies as other branches of the security forces.
Author Moe ShaikSource: SA Crime Quarterly 2008, pp 3 –9 (2008)More Less
Those who lament the imminent dissolution of the Scorpions are blinded to the shortcomings of the unit and fail to see the role they have played in entrenching patronage. Not only have they fallen short of delivering justice, they have been given the freedom to act as intelligence gatherers without the responsibility of having to account to oversight structures. This is a shortcoming of the legislation that created the unit, but has irreparably tarnished the unit's reputation. Locating a new investigative unit in the SAPS is the best solution to overcome these problems and avoid them in the future.
Author David BruceSource: SA Crime Quarterly 2008, pp 11 –15 (2008)More Less
In May 2008 legislation was tabled in Parliament providing for the dissolution of the Directorate of Special Operations (known as the 'Scorpions'), an investigative unit based in the National Prosecuting Authority. The draft legislation provides that Scorpions members will selectively be incorporated into a new investigative unit located within the SAPS. These developments followed a resolution passed at the African National Congress National Conference in Polokwane in December 2007, calling for the unit to be disbanded. Since December the ANC has been forced to defend its decision in the face of widespread support for the Scorpions. One of the accusations made by the ANC was that the Scorpions were involved in politically motivated targeting of ANC members. This article examines the issue of political manipulation of criminal investigations and argues that doing away with the Scorpions will in fact increase the potential for such manipulation thereby undermining the principle of equality before the law.
Putting paid to the untouchables? The effects of dissolving the Directorate of Special Operations and the Specialised Commercial Crime UnitsAuthor Gail WannenburgSource: SA Crime Quarterly 2008, pp 17 –21 (2008)More Less
When law enforcement agencies arrest abalone poachers on the Western Coast of South Africa, they may not be aware that the drying and processing of the delicacy takes place in Gauteng and that the buyers are organised crime networks in China. It will not be evident that the criminals use the profits (at about R1 400 per kilogram) to buy drugs for the local Southern African market. The syndicate or loose network of crime groups may have a distribution chain of dispensable individuals of different nationalities encompassing several countries, specialising in particular aspects of the trade and dealing in a wide variety of illegal goods. Indeed, the arrest of the poachers is unlikely to reveal that the profits are being used to barter for drugs and that a large number of illegal and apparently legal companies are being used to transfer money across the globe. Catching these kinds of transnational, cross-border, multi-ethnic and flexible criminal groups is difficult unless law enforcement agencies have a multi-faceted strategy, use the skills of a wide range of personnel and have the time and resources to investigate and prosecute them effectively. Traditional law enforcement is geared towards arresting the criminal 'runners' rather than the 'kingpins'. The DSO and the SCCU acquired a reputation as the 'untouchables' - units that are admired, revered and feared - and it seems unlikely that their replacement will enjoy the same success and reputation.
Author Anthony MinnaarSource: SA Crime Quarterly 2008, pp 23 –28 (2008)More Less
While it would appear that the motivations to incorporate the Directorate of Special Operations (DSO) or Scorpions into a new South African Police Service directorate are largely politically driven, there are a number of practical obstacles standing in the way of a 'smooth' incorporation. Foremost among these is the manner of operations of the Scorpions, the way that they investigate certain crimes by means of prosecution-led teams, and their more effective use of intelligence-driven crime information. This is diametrically opposed to the SAPS investigation modus operandi, which is largely reactive. Furthermore, many of the Scorpions investigators, representing as they do a vast pool of built up experience and expertise, do not want to serve in the SAPS under the latter's investigating regime. Other sticking points would be the fact that they are paid infinitely better than SAPS detectives, are better funded and resourced, have a far lighter case load (and one shared in a team) - all in direct contrast to members of the SAPS.
Author Johan BurgerSource: SA Crime Quarterly 2008, pp 29 –34 (2008)More Less
The Independent Complaints Directorate (ICD) was established in 1997 to promote proper police conduct and to ensure a transformed police service in line with the spirit and purport of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa. Concerns within the ICD that the police very often do not comply with their recommendations led to a joint ICD/ISS research project to investigate these concerns. The study eventually concludes that the ICD is relatively successful in cases of death in police custody or as a result of police action, but with regards to police misconduct and recommendations for disciplinary action, it is largely ignored by the police.
Author Andrew KanyegirireSource: SA Crime Quarterly 2008, pp 35 –40 (2008)More Less
The Directorate of Special Operations (DSO) was set up in 1999 as a specialised unit of the National Prosecuting Authority with the dual responsibility of investigating and prosecuting national priority crimes, the main focus being high-level corruption and organised crime. Despite its successes, by 2005 critics were raising questions about its mandate and the strained relationship between the DSO and the South African Police Service (SAPS). Consequently, President Mbeki appointed Judge Sisi Khampepe to head a Commission of Inquiry into the mandate and location of the DSO. This article is a summary of some of the key issues raised in the Khampepe Report.