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Shopsteward Volume 27: Special Bulletin

COSATU Media Monitor COSATU Media Monitor COSATU Media Monitor


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Media Centre  |  COSATU Press Statements

Ngoako Ramatlodi and Scorpions

07 - 11 - 06

COSATU notes with concern the continuing "Hollywood"-style harassment of former Limpopo Premier and current ANC NEC member, Ngoako Ramatlhodi, by the Scorpions and National Prosecuting Authority. This second round of raids follows the reversal the NPA suff ered in the courts after an earlier round of raids on the same people.

COSATU opposes all forms of arbitrary victimisation. The Scorpions/NPA are continuing to show contempt for due legal process and for court orders. It is not an agency that respects, or can be trusted to defend, the law. Nobody is safe when an agency with u nlimited powers and resources is running wild in this way, and refusing any kind of restraint.

COSATU General Secretary Zwelinzima Vavi has described the many victims of unconcluded Scorpions" vendettas as the "walking wounded". The Scorpions habitually announce an investigation, or leak it to the media, and then carry out raids and further leaks ov er years, thus blighting the victims" lives and reputations. Their work leaves loose ends, no closure, and no remedy for the enormous harm they cause.

In the case of Ramatlhodi their action has gone on for three years and has had the effect of depriving him of his livelihood as a lawyer. When asked for the status of the "investigation" that had been hanging over Ramatlhodi"s head for three years, the Sco rpions responded with a further vexatious round of raids. As a result Ramatlhodi is still denied admission as an advocate, and yet there is no charge against him and therefore no remedy available to him.

It is intolerable that people are denied the possibility of work in this way. It is equivalent to punishment without trial. COSATU calls upon Comrade Ramatlhodi"s sisters and brothers of the legal profession to come to his aid collectively, and to see off this menacing, bullying threat to the independence of their profession.

COSATU repeats its long-standing call for the reintegration of the Scorpions into the South African Police Service, and a speedy end to the elective prosecutions-of-choice which have been the sole contribution of the regrettable "Scorpion" experiment.