Cyril Ramaphosa signs proclamation to establish corruption-busting 'new Scorpions'

20 March 2019 - 16:57 By Aphiwe Deklerk
President Cyril Ramaphosa. File photo.
President Cyril Ramaphosa. File photo.
Image: Thapelo Morebudi

President Cyril Ramaphosa has signed a proclamation that officially establishes the “new Scorpions” - a new investigating directorate to be based at the office of the National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) - which will investigate high-profile cases including state capture.

Ramaphosa announced the introduction of the directorate during his state of the nation address and it was then dubbed the “new Scorpions”.

Ramaphosa’s spokesperson Khusela Diko said in a statement on Wednesday that it was a move by the president to intensify “government’s campaign against corruption and state capture”.

Announcing the plan for the new directorate in February, Ramaphosa said it would focus on evidence that had emerged from the Zondo commission and other inquiries.

“The directorate will bring together a range of investigatory and prosecutorial capacity from within government and in the private sector under an investigating director reporting to the NDPP,” he said at the time.

Diko said the new directorate would investigate common-law offences including fraud, forgery, uttering, theft and any offence involving dishonesty.

It would also investigate statutory offences such as the contravention of acts relating to finance, intelligence, organised crime, combating of corrupt activities, municipal and public finance management acts.

Aside from allegations from the Zondo commission, Diko said the directorate would also probe unlawful activities relating to the Nugent commission of inquiry into tax administration and governance and also the Mpati commission which is probing allegations of impropriety regarding the Public Investment Corporation.