NPA needs money, points finger at Simelane

2012-04-17 19:30
Cape Town - The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) needs R250m extra funding a year to fill vacant posts and achieve its targets, MPs heard on Tuesday.

"We have set really ambitious targets and if we want to achieve them we will need more people," deputy director of national prosecutions Willie Hofmeyr told them.

"We will need some R250m a year more if we want to fill all the vacancies."

Hofmeyr, who heads the Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU), was briefing Parliament's portfolio committee on justice on the NPA's strategic plan.

"It is very difficult for every department to get more money out of Treasury, but we are facing a real crisis. Between justice and the NPA it is a significant problem at the moment," he said.

Hofmeyr appealed to the committee to intervene on the NPA's behalf with National Treasury.

He told MPs it was expected that the prosecuting authority would fall well short of its performance target of prosecuting and obtaining sentences on 337 000 cases this financial year.

"This year we are probably going to do about 300 000 only. There has been a significant decline in the number of cases with a verdict in the courts as a whole.

"Both the performance of the districts and the regional courts are issues that we looked at very seriously."

Acting NPA head Nomgcobo Jiba said a request to the finance ministry for more funding seemed to have fallen on deaf ears.

"We are expected to go with what they have given to us."

However, she said that despite a staff vacancy rate of 12%, the NPA realised that its biggest performance hurdle had been its controversial restructuring initiated by national director of public prosecutions Menzi Simelane.

Simelane is on special leave pending the review of the December appeal court verdict that overturned his appointment.

The NPA has, therefore, overturned the changes Simelane made to the reporting structures of its specialised crime fighting units such as the AFU, which was widely seen as undermining their functioning and autonomy.

"We realised that probably the manner in which we were structured had an impact into how we performed our functions. The bulk of these problems had been created by the way in which we reorganised ourselves," Jiba said.

"We have reverted to the previous structure," she said.

"In any organisation, if there is too much span of control on one person you are bound to have a problem, because you cannot possibly be able to hold each and every body accountable."

Democratic Alliance MP Dene Smuts, who led a crusade against Simelane's restructuring, said she felt vindicated.

Read more on:    npa  |  nomgcobo jiba  |  menzi simelane  |  dene smuts

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.