The Congress of the People (COPE) says while it welcomes President Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement of establishing a unit similar to the disbanded Scorpions to tackle corruption, the process should be expedited. Ramaphosa made the announcement in the National Assembly during his oral reply session on Thursday.
COPE has been calling on the Police and Justice Ministers to establish such a unit.
The party has been critical of what it calls the slow pace of the Hawks to arrest and finalise cases of corruption.
COPE Spokesperson Dennis Bloem has urged the Police and Justice Ministers to speed up the process of establishing the unit.
“COPE welcomed the announcement by President Cyril Ramaphosa that government agree with us that the country needs an anti-corruption unit like the disbanded Scorpions. We want to urge the ministers of justice and of police that they must speed up the process; there is no time to waste. Hawks is not effective and are toothless. We want this anti-corruption unit as soon as possible.”
On Thursday, President Ramaphosa said it is not the responsibility of the President to arrest, prosecute and jail those who have been implicated in allegations of corruption.
He said there are capable institutions tasked to deal with acts of criminality.
“And I say my comrades, my task as the President of the Republic, is not to go out and investigate this one and that one. It is to set up the institutions that will do their work. The institutions must do their work. And it is when we do so, that we really have a democracy. One day if you don’t rely on the institutions, you will really have a crazy President who will be running around arresting people, putting them in jail and South Africa does not want that.”
The President added that the looting of COVID-19 funds through Personal Protective Equipment tenders should be a lesson to decisively act against corruption.
Below Pule Mabe says President Ramaphosa has taken a stand on corruption: