THE SCORPIONS LOSE THEIR STING: Challenges to incorporation of the DSO into the SAPS

  • Anthony Minnaar University of South Africa
Keywords: Directorate of Special Operations, Scorpions, police, SAPS


While it would appear that the motivations to incorporate the Directorate of Special Operations (DSO) or Scorpions into a new South African Police Service directorate are largely politically driven, there are a number of practical obstacles standing in the way of a ‘smooth’ incorporation. Foremost among these is the manner of operations of the Scorpions, the way that they investigate certain crimes by means of prosecution-led teams, and their more effective use of intelligence-driven crime information. This is diametrically opposed to the SAPS investigation modus operandi, which is largely reactive. Furthermore, many of the Scorpions investigators, representing as they do a vast pool of built up experience and expertise, do not want to serve in the SAPS under the latter’s investigating regime. Other sticking points would be the fact that they are paid infinitely better than SAPS detectives, are better funded and resourced, have a far lighter case load (and one shared in a team) – all in direct contrast to members of the SAPS.

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