A car from the now-disbanded Scorpions.

It’s been 12 years since the Directorate of Special Operations, commonly known as the Scorpions, were disbanded by the ANC. It has hobbled South Africa’s fight against corruption, perhaps permanently, writes Pieter du Toit.

When Jacob Zuma was announced victorious at the ANC’s divisive national conference at the Mankweng campus of the University of Limpopo in December 2007, the allies of the vanquished Thabo Mbeki were distraught.

A grim-faced Mbhazima Shilowa, then premier of Gauteng, sat behind Mbeki, who was flanked on one side by Essop Pahad, his trusted ally and minister in…

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