Jul 2009


The new Directorate for Priority Crime Investigations (DPCI), will take over the criminal investigative work of the former Directorate of Special Operations (DSO).

The DSO was also known as the Scorpions, which closed down at the end of June. The Scorpions were formed in September 1999 under the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).

Serious crimes

The new unit will investigate serious crimes like organised crime, fraud and corruption, as well as crimes against the state and other economic crimes.

The new team will take over more than 600 investigations which were previously conducted by the Scorpions.

Strict selection

Strict selection processes have been put into place to screen staff for the new unit. Applicants must be approved by the Police's Crime Intelligence Division before being appointed.

So far, of the 221 special investigators who were in the Scorpions, some 137 have joined the new unit. Former Western Cape deputy police commissioner, Anwar Dramat, is heading the new crime-fighting unit.

Proper equipment

The new unit will get proper equipment and facilities to ensure that it does its work properly.

The unit will have a close working relationship with the prosecutors and intelligence agencies, as well as with other state institutions. These include the Asset Forfeiture Unit, customs, state-owned enterprises, and private forensic investigators.

Lawyers and police

The new unit will also have lawyers who will be part of all investigations. They will provide legal guidance from the beginning of an investigation. This will help them to make up proper case dockets to increase the chances of successful prosecution.

In addition, the new unit will get full support from the Police's Crime Intelligence Division.

If there are complaints against the unit, the Minister of Police may appoint a retired judge to deal with it. The unit's powers will be properly checked to prevent abuse of power.

- Mbulelo Baloyi

New government departments to help carry out goals

  • Following the general elections in April, a new structure has been set up for Cabinet. New government departments will help the new administration to carry out its policies correctly.
  • A National Planning Commission and a new Department for Performance Monitoring and Evaluation and Administration has been set up in the Presidency.
  • The Department of Minerals and Energy has been divided into two separate departments of Mining and Energy.
  • The Department of Education has been divided into two, namely Basic Education and Higher Education and Training.
  • The Department of Housing is now called the Department of Human Settlements.
  • A new Department of Rural Development and Land Reform has been set up.
  • The Department of Water Affairs was joined with Environmental Affairs to form the Department of Water and Environmental Affairs. The Forestry section of the old department was joined with Agriculture and Fisheries to form the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.
  • A new Department of Tourism and a new Department of Economic Development was set up.
  • The Department of Provincial and Local Government was changed to Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs.
  • The Department of Defence was changed to Defence and Military Veterans.
  • A new Department of Women, Youth, Children and People with Disabilities has been formed.
  • The Department of Foreign Affairs was changed to the Department of International Relations and Cooperation.
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