Controlling act

2008-03-29 00:00

CITING “prejudice” to South Africa’s national security, the African National Congress has balked at making public the full Khampepe Commission report looking into the mandate and location of the Directorate of Special Operations, more commonly known as the Scorpions. This is despite assurances from President Thabo Mbeki that the 2006 report would be released.

What is the point of instituting judicial inquiries if broader society cannot benefit from their wisdom? It creates the impression that the probe may have been used to glean information about how much is actually known about Scorpion-related investigations, particularly those related to the multi-million rand arms deal through which ANC president Jacob Zuma has become legally ensnared, rather than any commitment to act on its findings. The clampdown reads, inevitably, as a government attempt to shut down an independent body it can’t control With questions hanging over Mbeki's role in arms deal kickbacks and the potential for more information to come to light in the upcoming Zuma trial, the president would do well to take a more open approach to these matters. Mbeki may be a spent force, but how he handles himself over his remaining months will have a bearing on his legacy.

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