Deepening Democracy through Access to Information
Home / News / All News RSS ← Back

Email this article

separate emails by commas, maximum limit of 4 addresses

Sponsored by


Article Enquiry

Show corruption busting unit the money, urges Cosatu after NPA Amendment Bill passes in National Assembly


Embed Video

Show corruption busting unit the money, urges Cosatu after NPA Amendment Bill passes in National Assembly

Show corruption busting unit the money, urges Cosatu after NPA Amendment Bill passes in National Assembly
Photo by Creamer Media

7th December 2023

By: News24Wire


Font size: -+

African National Congress (ANC) alliance partner Cosatu called on the government to adequately resource the soon-to-be-established Investigating Directorate against Corruption (IDAC) after the National Assembly passed the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) Amendment Bill.

If the bill also passes in the National Council of Provinces as expected, it will replace the NPA's Investigating Directorate with a permanent structure – IDAC – and also provide for the appointment of its investigators.


Currently, the Investigating Director's (ID's) mere 24 investigators are seconded from the Hawks, the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) and the police's detectives.

This bill has its genesis in President Cyril Ramaphosa's announcement in October last year, that as part of his implementation plan on the Zondo Commission's recommendations, the ID would become a permanent structure.


The bill passed during Tuesday's marathon plenary of the National Assembly, with the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) and FF Plus's objections.

On Wednesday, Cosatu's acting national spokesperson and parliamentary co-ordinator, Matthew Parks, welcomed the bill's passage through the National Assembly.

"This is an important bill enhancing the powers of the NPA by providing for the establishment of an Investigating Directorate against Corruption within the NPA to investigate and institute criminal proceedings on cases of serious, high-profile or complex corruption or commercial or financial crimes arising from the recommendations of commissions of inquiry," he said in a statement.

He said Cosatu hopes that the bill and the establishment of IDAC would "provide a badly needed intervention for the NPA and the state against the cancer of corruption that is bleeding the fiscus of billions of rand needed to provide public services to working class communities and that has become a cancer endemic across society".

He said: 

However, if this bill is to meet its progressive objectives, then Treasury needs to adequately resource it.

"There is no point [in] establishing a directorate if it won’t be allocated the personnel, resources and support it requires to fulfil its legal mandate.

"The continuing high rates of prosecutor vacancies, the long delays in courts’ processing cases and the painful decline in the South African Police Service headcount attest to a dangerous disconnect between the objectives politicians pontificate about and the woefully inadequate resources Treasury backs them up with during budgetary appropriations," said Parks.

He said it is high time that the government appreciated the value of investing in the state and the positive effect that well-resourced quality public services have upon workers, society and the economy.

Democratic Alliance (DA) MP Glynnis Breytenbach, when debating the bill on Tuesday in the National Assembly, also considered IDAC’s funding.

Like she often did during the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services’ deliberations on the bill, she drew a comparison between IDAC and the Scorpions, which was officially disbanded in January 2009 and replaced by the Hawks, a move pushed through by the ANC, then with Jacob Zuma as its leader.

According to Breytenbach, a crucial part of Zuma’s campaign to become the ANC’s leader in 2007 was the Scorpions’ disbandment.

"Of course, in hindsight, we know why he was so eager to get rid of the scorpions and later to decimate the NPA," said the former prosecutor.

"Many in this House today probably enthusiastically voted for the disbandment."

Breytenbach said the Constitutional Court found that the disbandment of Scorpions was constitutionally invalid – and gave Parliament 18 months to give Hawks the required independence. This was not done.

She said:

And here we are 10 years [later], and the best this Parliament can come up with is stopgap legislation. This from a government that would have South Africans believe that it is serious about combatting crime, especially corruption. Excuse me if I am not convinced.

She said Parliament is now asked to create a “small-scale” Scorpions, which will have the same problems.

"And when it becomes inconvenient, it will be disbanded with the same ease, with the same simple majority in this House. ANC politics at its very best."

She said the justice minister will control IDAC’s budget by controlling the budget of the NPA, "and it will continue to function at a low level, beset by problems".

"We should be here, establishing a truly independent, separate from the NPA, probably a Chapter 9 institution, that will be able to combat corruption and organised crime and make South Africa safe again for South Africans," said Breytenbach.

"It should be in control of its own budget, negotiate with Treasury and be accountable to Parliament. It should be a requirement that a heightened majority is required to disband it, so that it cannot be dissolved for the sake of protecting politicians.

"Instead, we are here with this sorry, incomplete, wholly unsatisfactory piece of legislation that took so many years to bring to Parliament. What a shame! What a disgrace! And yet, we have no choice but to support it. It is better, by a miniscule margin, than nothing at all."

She said her party would not oppose the bill, as it may well make the NPA’s situation more tenable in the short term.

Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services, ANC MP Bulelani Magwanishe, introducing the committee’s report on the bill, said it was "acutely aware of the criticisms that the bill does not go far enough" in terms of IDAC’s independence and its investigators’ security of tenure.

"The committee considered the urgency of the amendments," he said. He added that the committee would address the issues raised with the bill and the need for legislation that comprehensively addresses aspects relating to the NPA’s independence in its legacy report for the Seventh Parliament.

"In addition, the committee urges the minister to introduce such legislation before the end of January 2025," he said.

He said the committee would also ask that Ramaphosa and the Minister in the Presidency overseeing the State Security Agency, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, intervene to ensure that the vetting of IDAC’s investigators is prioritised so that its work is not delayed in any way.

While Ramaphosa, since his ascendency to the Union Buildings and Tuynhuys, insisted that fighting corruption was among his administration’s highest priorities, this hasn’t been backed up by his government's budgets. This is perhaps best exemplified by the fact that the police’s budget for protection services, which included the VIP Protection Unit that protects politicians, receives a larger budget than the Hawks, which investigates priority crimes.

On several occasions, when the NPA’s budget was under discussion, National Director of Public Prosecutions Shamila Batohi or her deputies indicated that their budget was inadequate.

Just last month, ID head Andrea Johnson told the National Assembly's Standing Committee on Public Accounts (Scopa) that capacity constraints hamper their work.


To subscribe email or click here
To advertise email or click here

Comment Guidelines

About is a product of Creamer Media.

Other Creamer Media Products include:
Engineering News
Mining Weekly
Research Channel Africa

Read more


We offer a variety of subscriptions to our Magazine, Website, PDF Reports and our photo library.

Subscriptions are available via the Creamer Media Store.

View store


Advertising on is an effective way to build and consolidate a company's profile among clients and prospective clients. Email

View options
Free daily email newsletter Register Now