Khampepe Report

2008-05-08 00:00

After a two year delay the government has released the Khampepe Report on the Scorpions, South Africa’s elite detective unit. The report indicates that the unit is “as valid today as it was at conception” with crime levels making it essential that the Scorpions should continue as an essential component of law enforcement. At the same time Judge Sisi Khampepe noted with disapproval the bitter conflict between certain high-ranking officials of the Scorpions and the South African Police Services (SAPS), recommending that they put duty above personal issues. Here was a management problem that should have been dealt with briskly by government intervention and through appropriate disciplinary procedures. Instead, it was allowed to fester.

Hard on the heels of these events comes the announcement that Leonard McCarthy, head of the Scorpions’ crime fighting unit, has been appointed by the World Bank to lead its anti-corruption initiative globally. This is high tribute, at a significant international level, to the perceived success and integrity of the Scorpions in its determination to contest crime without fear or favour. Once again this country loses a skill and a resource in one of its citizens that will benefit the wider world instead.

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