Zondo Commission to probe disbandment of Scorpions

Evidence leader Advocate Paul Pretorius started proceedings on Thursday with an opening statement to explain that the commission will now deal with the capture of the law enforcement agencies.

A screengrab of Robert McBride giving testimony at the state capture commission on 11 April 2019.

PRETORIA - A decade after it was disbanded, the state capture commission has heard it will investigate why the Scorpions was shut down.

Evidence leader Advocate Paul Pretorius started proceedings on Thursday with an opening statement to explain that the commission will now deal with the capture of the law enforcement agencies.

The first witness, former Ipid head Robert McBride, testified about the involvement of Crime Intelligence in high-profile investigations which were designed to get rid of obstructive officials, such as Hawks bosses Anwa Dramat and Shadrack Sibiya.

WATCH: Zondo Inquiry: Robert McBride on his suspension & the weakening of Ipid

Pretorius said that by 2004 The scorpions had taken 380 cases to court for prosecution.

“Of those 380, 349 ended in convictions. We’re presenting an average conviction rate of 92%. During 2017 alone, the Scorpions achieved a conviction rate of 94% on 182 cases brought to court.”

To compare, Pretorius then referred to the nearly 700 cases handled by the Special Investigating Unit since 2013, none of which of resulted in a successful prosecution.

“What was the motive of the disbandment of an apparently functional operation?”

McBride is expected to continue presenting his evidence on Friday.

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)