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New crime fighting unit will be as tough - Nqakula

by Vivian Warby
on 13 May 2008
BuaNews Online
BuaNews Online

Government has assured South Africans that only the best crime investigators will be incorporated into the new Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI) which will replace the Scorpions unit.

Speaking at a Justice, Crime Prevention and Security Cluster media briefing in Cape Town on Tuesday, Minister of Safety and Security Charles Nqakula said people would be trained to become professionals for any function within the DPCI following the Directorate of Special Operations (DSO) being disbanded.

"We will ensure that the best people are available for this division. We will still find people for the task we want discharged."

The new unit will be an amalgamation "of the best investigators" of both the DSO and the police's Organised Crime Unit.

Other investigators will be recruited elsewhere to give the new structure adequate capacity.

The minister said, that even though many of the top-notch investigators currently employed within the DSO had threatened to leave if the directorate was dissolved to become a new unit together with the police, the DPCI would not run as a weakened structure.

While the work by this cluster continues to reduce the levels of contact crimes like murder, rape, indecent and serious and violent assault, organised crime is still prevalent and continues to be a big challenge, said Minister Nqakula.

"We made this point clear in the last media briefing in February and indicated, among other things, that we were revising our strategy to combat organised crime.

"We would use the review of the Criminal Justice System to realign the entities of state that are involved in the fight against organised crime."

Therefore the cluster suggested to Cabinet that an organised crime machinery with better priority-setting mechanisms be established to prevent gaps and undue overlaps in the fight against organised crime.

Cabinet on 30 April approved the General Law Amendment Bill 2008, which seeks to establish the DPCI to replace the DSO and the Organised Crime Unit and Commercial Branch of the police.

The Notice of Intention to introduce the Bill, in terms of the relevant parliamentary laws, was published in the Gazette on 9 May, after tabling it in Parliament on 7 May.

The bill has now been submitted to the State Law Advisers for certification.

Mr Nqakula added that there will not be a single case presently being investigated by the Scorpions that will not be finalized before the new unit is set up.

Until the law is passed and the new structure is in place all investigations are be handled by the respective units. - BuaNews


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