By Mbulelo Sisulu
The Government of Germany has pledged about R9.5 million (EUR 500 000) towards a critical drive to achieve the National Prosecuting Authorities’ strategic pillars of public credibility, independence, professionalism and accountability.
The efforts of the National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP), Shamila Batohi, to create a structure in the office where the public will be able to lodge complaints about any allegation of misconduct involving the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) staff received a major boost.
NPA spokesperson Sipho Ngwema said, the foreseen structure, which is provided for in the NPA Act, will give direct access to her office by members of the public to report any misdemeanour involving transgressing members of the NPA.
“Over a decade or so the NPA was entangled in allegations of “state captured” as some of its prominent members were accused of being appointed into leadership positions to weaken the NPA and to act in the interest of certain political and personal influences. These allegations and perceptions of politically-motivated changes in leadership and the allegations of impropriety against some of its senior leaders, led to an exodus of skilled staff, the freezing of new appointments, as well as a virtual end to its professional development and training programmes,” said Ngwema.
The Zondo Commission is investigating the allegations of “state capture.”
During Batohi’s appointment in December 2018, the NDPP committed to restore the credibility of the NPA and to regain the respect the institution once enjoyed. Further, she undertook “to rebuild and lead a trusted and effective prosecution service that ensures justice to all South Africans through independent, professional and victim-centred service delivery.”
The new structure will be implemented through technical assistance provided by the Institute for Security Studies.