'If the Scorpions bite the wrong people we will kill them' – dismantling the Scorpions has nothing to do with the Jacob Zuma trial… apparently.

September 5, 2008

Democracy, In the news

Last week Friday Cosatu’s KwaZulu-Natal secretary general Zet Luzipho was quoted as saying “If the Scorpions bite the wrong people we will kill them. Like a dog when it starts biting relatives at your home. You get rid of it. We will do the same to the Scorpions”, this after several protest marches in the eThekweni region.

The Sowetan was the first to cover the story, shortly after which the Mail&Guardian published the story and online readers were quick to respond with comments.

On the same day, the Citizen published an article citing Zet Luzipho denying the media reports that “he made a statement insinuating the dismantling of the Scorpions had something to do with ANC president Jacob Zuma’s trial.”

Luzipho told the Citizen that he had made the address in Zulu and that “the translation into English did not come out right.” Luzipho further stated that “All I said was that the Scorpions must be disbanded because they are not doing their job”.

Whether or not Zet Luzipho’s comments were lost in translation or not is uncertain – I am giving him the benefit of the doubt, not because I understand Zulu but because I am happier with believing him rather than adding to the barrier of mistrust that still continues to block our society from enjoying our democracy together. It is worth reading Professor Kader Asmal’s views on language useage in the democratic discourse as it provides a good philosophical and political context in this regard.

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