South Africa launches 'Hawks' crime-fighting unit | world | Hindustan Times
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South Africa launches 'Hawks' crime-fighting unit

world Updated: Jul 06, 2009 20:19 IST
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South Africa's police ministry says it has launched a new unit to fight crime and corruption. Police minister Nathi Mthethwa launched the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigations on Monday.

It replaces the unit known as The Scorpions, which was disbanded last year. The Scorpions became unpopular with the ruling ANC after they tried to prosecute President Jacob Zuma for corruption. Police spokeswoman Sally de Beer said in a statement that the new unit will make a "significant impact" on organized crime syndicates, as well as violent crimes.

South Africa has one of the world's worst murder rates. About 50 people a day are killed there. The unit has been dubbed The Hawks after the sharp-eyed bird of prey.