Batohi and Cronjé bring hope in fight against corruption - Lamola

2019-07-03 19:56
Minister of Justice and Correctional Services Ronald Lamola lauded President Cyril Ramaphosa's State of the Nation Address on Thursday evening. (File)

Minister of Justice and Correctional Services Ronald Lamola lauded President Cyril Ramaphosa's State of the Nation Address on Thursday evening. (File)

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The new investigative directorate in the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) must start its work immediately in dealing with matters arising from the several commissions of inquiry, Minister of Justice and Correctional Services Ronald Lamola says. 

Lamola made his first appearance before the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services on Wednesday, to provide the committee with a "political overview" of his portfolio.

Lamola said the appointment of Shamila Batohi as National Director of Public Prosecutions and Hermione Cronjé as the head of the NPA's investigative unit, gave the country hope in the fight against crime and corruption.

He said the investigative directorate will investigate cases stemming from the commission of inquiry into the South African Revenue Service, the commission of inquiry into the Public Investment Corporation and the commission of inquiry into state capture.

Furthermore, the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) has been strengthened by the establishment of its special tribunal, whose job it will be to recover the looted money.

DA MP Glynnis Breytenbach said she was deeply concerned about the funding of the investigative directorate. She said those type of investigations require huge amounts of money, due to the forensic skills needed.

She said some of the investigations sprouting from the state capture commission needs to be brought forward. 

"South Africans want to see some action," she said.

She said if the directorate does not have an adequate budget, they can appoint 20 Batohis and 20 Cronjés, but nothing will get done.

Breytenbach did however say she was very happy with the appointment of Batohi and Cronjé. 

ACDP MP Steve Swart said previously when he raised the issue of state capture and corruption there were sniggers from some of the committee members. 

He said there is prima facie evidence of wrongdoing and therefore no need to wait for the commission, chaired by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, to finish its work before starting prosecutions.

Lamola said he already had a briefing with Batohi about the NPA's budget. He said there was a vacancy rate of 20% at the NPA and a moratorium on new appointments.

"So, within the department, we had to look at creative ways of how we'll help the NPA," he said.

He added that they had already obtained R37 million for the investigative unit before the next medium-term budget. 

Read more on:    shamila batohi  |  ronald lamola  |  npa
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