DA petition on closure of Scorpions

2008-07-28 00:00

Cape Town — Yesterday was the final day for public submissions on the Scorpions legislation — and to mark the occasion, the Democratic Alliance handed in more than 2 000 written submissions and 98 000 signatures opposing the closure of the elite crime-fighting unit.

DA Safety and Security spokeswoman Dianne Kohler-Barnard gave to Parliament’s portfolio committee on Safety and Security the submissions and the names of thousands of South Africans who had signed a DA petition against the disbanding of the unit, or added their names to an SMS petition.

The submissions relate to the National Prosecuting Authority Amendment Bill and the South African Police Services Amendment Bill, which aim to absorb the Directorate of Special Operations (Scorpions) into the SAPS. Parliament will hold public hearings on the legislation next week. The chairperson of Parliament’s Justice portfolio committee, Yunus Carrim, said yesterday that most of the submissions received so far are opposed to the ANC’s decision to disband the unit.

Kohler-Barnard said the degree to which the public responded to calls for submissions has been overwhelming.

“The government simply cannot continue to process the two bills in the face of such clear public opposition without confirming their contempt for the wishes of the public” she said.

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