NPA tightens media policy

2010-01-21 14:12

The new National Director of Public Prosecutions, Menzi Simelane,

has forbidden prosecutors to speak to the media without prior authorisation, his

office said today.

“It comes from the head of the institution. He wants us to have

more control over what gets communicated and how it gets communicated,”

Simelane’s spokeswoman Bulelwa Makeke said.

Makeke said the directive was relayed in an internal document and

was effectively “immediately as an amendment to our current media policy”.

She added the NPA has had “many issues” as a result of prosecutors

talking to the press and was surprised the policy change was attracting


“If you have 3 000 employees and every one speaks to the media, how

are you ever going to have control?

“We are not saying they cannot talk, they just have to have proper

authorisation. If there is a case that is going to attract a lot of media

attention, they can get authorisation beforehand. But there are always things

you can and cannot say.”

Makeke said prosecutors now had to approach the directors of public

prosecution in their provinces for permission to respond to media


Simelane became head of the NPA in December, a year after Vusi

Pikoli was controversially fired from the post.

His appointment provoked an outcry, partly because of the severe

criticism by the Ginwala Commission of his conduct in the Pikoli saga.

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