More than a decade after the Scorpions were killed off by the ANC of Jacob Zuma, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the establishment of a similar directorate in the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) that will report to advocate Shamila Batohi, the new national director of public prosecutions (NDPP).
Ramaphosa delivered his second State of the Nation Address on Thursday evening during a joint session of Parliament during which he made a number of major announcements and putting economic recovery at the top of his government's list of priorities, including the expected unbundling of Eskom and the reconfiguration of national intelligence services.
The announcement of a new Scorpions-like unit, however, signals a major intervention in the fight against grand corruption and state capture and seems to acknowledge the deep malaise that exists in the law enforcement and prosecutions environment.
Eskom will, as expected, be broken up into separate generation, transmission and distribution units. The president pre-empted the expected criticism saying that consequences will be dire if no action is taken: "Eskom is in crisis and the risks it poses to South Africa are great. It could severely damage our economic and social development ambitions. We need to take bold decisions and decisive action. The consequences may be painful, but they will be even more devastating if we delay," he said.