FIRST TAKE: Ramaphosa resurrects Scorpions-like unit, reins in spooks and breaks up Eskom

- | 2 months ago

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. Ramaphosa also managed to completely disarm the EFF and its leader, Julius Malema, who threatened to disrupt proceedings because of the links between Ramaphosa's son Andile and corruption-tainted company Bosasa.

A confident Ramaphosa, standing at the podium with his left hand buried deep inside his trouser pockets, joked with Malema that if the EFF wins the election he would sing the song "Thuma Mina" from the podium. He added that DA leader Mmusi Maimane will also join the band he intends to form.

This is what you need to know about Ramaphosa's speech:1. Strengthening the NDPP's handsBatohi, who started her new job less than a week ago, sat in the presidential bay and smiled when Ramaphosa wised her luck in her new job – and continued smiling when he announced the formation of a new investigations and prosecutions directorate strikingly similar to the now-defunct Scorpions.

The president told MPs the new directorate will report to Batohi and will bring together investigations and prosecutorial resources from within and outside government.

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