News24

Staff shortages hit NPA

2009-09-10 12:14

Johannesburg - The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) is struggling to cope due to serious staff shortages, its annual report states.

"A shortage of experienced members hampers effective and efficient prosecution of criminals," states the document, according to a report in The Star on Thursday.

The report also criticises the state of courts in South Africa, saying bad working conditions at lower courts "are reaching serious proportions".

"There is a need to establish additional capacity to reduce case backlogs in some areas.

Low morale

"Non-availability of Legal Aid practitioners and other legal practitioners, as well as magistrates, on some occasions poses a challenge," the report states.

The disbanding of the Scorpions and a lack of a permanent leader created low staff morale.

The NPA was "faced with many challenges in the last few years, including high levels of vacancies, audit queries and findings, financial constraints and a general inability to attract and retain staff in senior management positions".

SAPA