4 minute read

Opinion | Scorpions 2.0

By Bhekisisa Mncube

As whispers of Scorpion 2.0 spread, I can almost hear the nervous shuffle of polished Italian shoes from our well-dressed miscreants.

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Bhekisisa Mncube.

Chief Dwasaho!

I am in seventh heaven this week.

The word on the street is that the Investigative Directorate (ID), housed within the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) — which, since its early inception in 2019, neither boasted police powers nor secured any convictions — is gearing up for a makeover, echoing the formidable Scorpions of yore.

My leader, cast your mind back to the golden era of the Directorate of Special Operations, better known as the Scorpions.

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Those intrepid sleuths of the NPA didn’t merely aim to topple the Walls of Jericho by circling the miscreants six times, hoping for a seventh-day miracle.

No, they toiled day and night, and criminals of all stripes quaked at the sight of a black (VW Golf GTI) adorned with that menacing red insignia: Scorpions.

With a sting sharper than the fiercest mamba, they sent shivers down the spines of our dubious elite.

Who could forget their dance with the one-time Luthuli House main man, Tony Yengeni, or their tango with our late top cop, Jackie Selebi?

Not to mention uBaba.

He is the man whose dance with the judiciary resembles a relentless cha-cha, treating courtrooms like fast-food drive-throughs in his spirited use of Stalingrad tactics to avoid his corruption trial.

Oh, the memories!

Decades from now, Facebook memes will immortalise him as the man who breezed through Estcourt Correctional Services — in at 6 am and out by 7 am, setting a world record as the swiftest inmate to serve a sentence.

Ah, what a time to have lived!

I digress.

As I leisurely savour my legally acquired amber liquids (courtesy of no prohibition — Covid-19 lockdown regulations, anyone?), my reflections on the vibrant chapters of our nation’s tapestry fill me with solace.

I publicly declared your second term at the helm of the ANC as a return to the “Age of Hope”, and I stand by that statement.

From the commentariat corner, I’ve always championed your efforts without reservation.

Kudos to your unwavering resolve.

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A mere 10 months after you announced the ID being made permanent following the Zondo Commission’s revelations, cabinet has endorsed the bill, now ready for its parliamentary debut.

The sheer anticipation is reminiscent of a child’s joy at the sight of a beloved uncle, a beacon of expected treats and delights.

Onward we march!

Despite the Hawks’ underwhelming performance, there’s hope they’ll be integrated into this new unit.

We’re no strangers to the fact that after the Scorpions’ disbandment, their successors, the Hawks, practically rolled out the red carpet for our infamous criminals, hosting a spectacular “akekho ugogo” festivity (that cheeky dance one pulls off when granny turns a blind eye).

This rhythm echoed memories of a timeless Zulu adage: “Uchakide uhlolile imamba yalukile.”

For those needing a cultural decoder, Mr President, it translates to the weasel is at ease because the mamba has ventured out.

My leader, the winds of change are blowing.

As whispers of Scorpion 2.0 spread, I can almost hear the nervous shuffle of polished Italian shoes from our well-dressed miscreants.

Enter the Investigating Directorate against Corruption (IDAC) — a nostalgic nod to the Scorpions’ spirit.

What piques my interest is IDAC’s sweeping authority.

They not only address compensation and terms of service but have mechanisms to tackle grave complaints about their personnel.

Moreover, the proposed amendment to Rica 2002, empowers the IDAC head to make directives in line with Rica’s guidelines.

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This is more than just the Scorpions reimagined; it’s a formidable force ready to combat sleaze and malfeasance head-on.

Clearly, my leader, you have hindsight and foresight.

Your 2019 decision to establish the Investigative Directorate, focusing on high-profile and complex corruption, was a master stroke.

Making it permanent?

Sheer brilliance.
Yet, with such power comes immense responsibility. ensure, Mr President, that this tool doesn’t become another plaything in the political sandbox.

Before I conclude, let’s don our “gangster hats” to acknowledge IDAC’s anticipated contribution in navigating our nation back onto the straight and narrow.

May their efforts uphold the sanctity of our constitution and the rule of law, propelling our cherished Mzansi towards a future that beams with integrity and is devoid of corruption.

Until next week, my leader, let the IDAC’s sting be our shield, and may justice be our North Star.

I stand ready to serve.

Send me to the NPA headquarters.

  • Bhekisisa Mncube is not just a storyteller; he’s a master weaver of tales that capture the heart and soul of South Africa. His new book, The Ramaphosa Chronicles, is available for sale at