NPA: Corruption cases ‘top priority’ the next six months, says Batohi

The head of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) Advocate Shamila Batohi says corruption cases will be their top priority for the next six months.

Batohi appeared virtually before Parliament’s Standing Committee on Public Accounts (SCOPA) on Tuesday, 15 February 2022, to discuss cases that were referred to the NPA by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU).

Batohi has told MPs that SIU refferals are not trial ready matters and this should change and that the Hawks need to be involved with probes done by SIU at an earlier stage.

“Most of the matters referred by the SIU create an impression that they are ready for prosecution and the NPA must take a decision to prosecute. That is not the case,” she said.

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SHAMILA BATOHI: ‘THE WHEELS OF JUSTICE ARE MOVING’

From the allegations emanating from the State Capture Commission of Inquiry to the recent SIU probes, Advocate Shamila Batohi and her team at the NPA have a tough task ahead, and then some. But Batohi has told MPs that “the wheels of justice are moving.”

Batohi says they are seeing progress in cases on corruption, particularly in the private sector. A good example would be the Tongaat Hulett case in KwaZulu-Natal.

“There has been a lot of work that has gone in the past three years. There is still a lot of work still to happen. We now have a full leadership team at the helm of NPA that is strongly committed to the rule of law, accountability and ensuring we hold people accountable for all cases and different types of crime the NPA has to deal with.”

NPA Head Advocate Shamila Batohi

Batohi further said the different law enforcement agencies needed to work together and also respect each other’s mandates, with achieving justice being the end goal.

“Our legal mandates are different but complementary. Whilst internal competition can be healthy, we need to ensure that we are all pulling in the same direction in order to achieve the shared goal, to make sure accountability is a norm, not an exception,” she said.

ALSO READ: Shamila Batohi assembles state capture team to fast-track prosecutions

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