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WRAP | Batohi: Resignation not an option, we have come back to rebuild the NPA

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06 Dec 2021

ID head Hermione Cronje has not resigned due to 'interpersonal relations', says NPA boss

National Director of Public Prosecutions Advocate Shamila Batohi has denied that the resignation of Investigating Directorate (ID) boss advocate Hermione Cronje is a result of "interpersonal relations".She also denied that the organisation was "in a crisis".

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06 Dec 2021

Batohi says she and her team have made tremendous sacrifices to rebuild the NPA. She won't even consider resigning, she says.

- Karyn Maughan 

06 Dec 2021

Batohi: resignation is not an option.

- Karyn Maughan 

06 Dec 2021

De Kock says it is crucial for the NPA to "find links" in relation to the Cradock 4 case before it can make a decision on whether the case can be prosecuted. He says there is evidence of "other meetings" in relation to the killings.

- Karyn Maughan 

06 Dec 2021

Batohi: I think there needs to be razor-sharp focus and a clear strategy to hold people to account.

- Karyn Maughan 

06 Dec 2021

Batohi says she believes people who joined the ID are committed to the ideal of justice and will choose to remain there.

- Karyn Maughan 

06 Dec 2021

Batohi says the process to appoint a new head of the Investigating Directorate is "ongoing". Advocate Anton du Plessis admits that one of the ID's difficulties is that it was not set up as a permanent structure, so posts at the unit were not permanent. The NPA has decided that it wants to now treat the ID as though it was permanent, meaning that posts would now be permanent.

- Karyn Maughan 

06 Dec 2021

Batohi says she has "not experienced open sabotaging of cases by prosecutors in the NPA" - despite evidence from the state capture inquiry that implicated senior prosecutors in corruption.

- Karyn Maughan 

06 Dec 2021

De Kock stresses that, while the NPA has a witness protection programme, witnesses need to come forward and ask for it. Batohi adds that the protection of whistleblowers is a "crisis in this country" that needs support from the highest levels of government.

- Karyn Maughan 

06 Dec 2021

De Kock says he will take personal responsibility to ensure that TRC cases are dealt with adequately. He says the 2 December deadline that prosecutors in the Cradock 4 case gave the family members of the murdered anti-apartheid activists by which they would make a decision on whether to take the case to court was given in "good faith". That deadline was missed, he says, because it emerged that there may have been orders given from high levels of the apartheid government in relation to the killings.

- Karyn Maughan 

06 Dec 2021

De Kock on the TRC cases: I think for the first time, the NPA and investigative agencies have the ability to deal with these cases. Some of the matters date back to 1961. He says there is a legacy of these cases not being dealt with properly.

- Karyn Maughan 

06 Dec 2021

De Kock says specialised commercial crimes courts have now been established in all provinces - instead of just in a few. "This is something we never had before," he says. He adds that the NPA does appoint private lawyers to work with it in cases where this is required.

- Karyn Maughan 

06 Dec 2021

De Kock says NPA currently has 88 posts for tax prosecutors, who will work closely with the Investigating Directorate to ensure that tax crimes are effectively prosecuted. The NPA "will win the war collectively", he says.

- Karyn Maughan 

06 Dec 2021

Advocate Rodney de Kock says the state has succeeded in prosecuting complex commercial crime cases and points to the state's case against convicted fraudster J. Arthur Brown - where the NPA successfully appealed the fine imposed on him and ensured that he received a 15-year sentence. This is the only case that he references as evidence that the NPA can prosecute complex commercial crime. "We do have the capacity," he says.

- Karyn Maughan 

06 Dec 2021

Batohi says she is "very confident" that the work that has gone into setting up the ID will assist the NPA in prosecuting complex commercial crime and corruption.

- Karyn Maughan 

06 Dec 2021

Batohi says she supports a court-ordered inquiry into alleged political interference in TRC prosecutions being public.

- Karyn Maughan 

06 Dec 2021

Batohi admits that the NPA does not have the skills to prosecute grand corruption - but they are trying to address this within the next six months to a year.

- Karyn Maughan 

06 Dec 2021

Batohi says unjustified, baseless attacks on the NPA do massive damage. "We will not be drawn into a public spat with high-profile accused person".

- Karyn Maughan 

06 Dec 2021

Batohi says the NPA will not comment on issues that are before the courts - specifically in relation to witnesses etc. This may be a reference to growing questions over Ace Magashule's secretary - and whether she will testify against him.

- Karyn Maughan 

06 Dec 2021

COMMENT: I think it's clear that Batohi and her leadership team are doing what they can to move things forward. But the NPA was a major target during capture, and the internal damage at the institution runs deeper than was initially thought. This will take time.

- Pieter du Toit

06 Dec 2021

On TRC cases: Batohi says she recognises and appreciates that these cases have taken a very long time to process. But she says the NPA has set up a unit to deal with these cases, which is being run by senior prosecutor Rodney de Kock. There are currently 59 such cases under investigation. "Time is running out," she says.

- Karyn Maughan 

06 Dec 2021

Batohi: addressing corruption is a sprint, not a marathon...the taps of corruption and rent-seeking are being closed. She adds that the NPA needs to prioritise easier cases and get them to court.

- Karyn Maughan 

06 Dec 2021

Batohi says the NPA is in the process of developing an ethics office aimed at dealing with improper conduct by prosecutors. She says corruption will be a focus for the NPA.

- Karyn Maughan 

06 Dec 2021

Batohi: We have really tried to inject innovation into the NPA. We have focused on strong collaboration.

- Karyn Maughan 

06 Dec 2021

Batohi says the NPA is developing strategies aimed at helping prosecutors to "resist" efforts by accused persons to use so-called "Stalingrad" litigation to avoid going on trial.

- Karyn Maughan 

06 Dec 2021

Batohi says "bringing back the money" is a key focus for the NPA - because it will allow the state to recover the huge amounts of cash looted from the country.

- Karyn Maughan 

06 Dec 2021

Batohi says there are internal processes in place to address the issue of prosecutors having been implicated in serious State Capture corruption. She says she cannot discuss this "as a matter of policy".

- Karyn Maughan 

06 Dec 2021

Batohi says the age of certain impunity is over. She says the ID is "well-poised" to make significant progress in its cases.

- Karyn Maughan 

06 Dec 2021

Batohi on whether it's fair for the NPA's critics to say that there has not been enough progress in it tackling crime and corruption: "I can fully understand the impatience of the people of South Africa...but we have to remember where the ID started. It started at zero."

- Karyn Maughan 

06 Dec 2021

Batohi says the ID's biggest shortcoming was that it tried to do too much with too little resources. She says there is a big difference between testifying in a commission [Zondo] and building a watertight case.

- Karyn Maughan 

06 Dec 2021

 Batohi will now answer questions from the media on the Cronje resignation. She says that the ID was "beginning to prioritise better" in terms of the cases that they were focusing on. She says she did try to ask Cronje to stay but subsequently decided that it was in the interest of the NPA that Cronje steps down.

- Karyn Maughan 

06 Dec 2021

Batohi: I do want to thank Advocate Cronje... I have no doubt that she will continue to fight impunity against corruption.

- Karyn Maughan 

06 Dec 2021

COMMENT: Batohi made brief references to the need for the NDPP (Batohi) and the ID director, Cronje, to have aligned vision with regard to strategy and prosecution strategy with regard to specific cases. She also said these strategies then need to be executed with "razor-sharp focus". These are, I feel, veiled barbs aimed at Cronje. This is while Batohi denies speculation that the relationship between her and Cronje was strained.

- Kyle Cowan

06 Dec 2021

Batohi says the ID has been focusing on the Kusile power plant in relation to its prosecution of alleged Eskom prosecution.

- Karyn Maughan 

06 Dec 2021

Batohi stresses that it takes time to establish new entities. She says the ID has just moved into a state-of-the-art building and is moving into a new chapter. She confirms that the NPA and ID needs to obtain specialised skills in the prosecution of complex corruption.

- Karyn Maughan 

06 Dec 2021

Batohi says Cronje's position is a "tough job in a tough environment". She says Cronje has "played her part" and indicated that there are "many cases that are ready to be enrolled".

- Karyn Maughan 

06 Dec 2021

Batohi: "Leadership transitions are normal and often healthy".

- Karyn Maughan 

06 Dec 2021

JUST IN: NPA 'is not in crisis", says Batohi - as she denies sabotage of ID

- Karyn Maughan 

06 Dec 2021

Batohi says that when she took over as NPA head, it was clear that she inherited a "battered" and "traumatised" organisation. Rebuilding it was never going to be easy or quick, she says. She adds that law enforcement clearly needs to be more to make South Africans feel safe.

- Karyn Maughan 

06 Dec 2021

JUST IN: Outgoing Investigating Directorate head Hermione Cronje a no-show at NPA presser.

Investigating Directorate head Hermione Cronje is not at the NPA's presser this morning. NDPP Shamila Batohi will now address that resignation.

- Karyn Maughan 

06 Dec 2021

Adriaan Basson | Save the NPA from personalities and egos

The resignation of Hermione Cronjé is a wake-up call for the National Prosecuting Authority to get its act together and show the country that crime doesn't pay, writes Adriaan Basson.

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06 Dec 2021

Why NPA boss quit

Corrupt officials still sitting in key positions in the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and friction with National Director of Public Prosecutions Advocate Shamila Batohi are said to be behind the sudden resignation this week of Advocate Hermione Cronjé as head of the Investigating Directorate.

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06 Dec 2021

Batohi, Lamola called to answer questions in Parliament about ID head Cronje's resignation

National Director of Public Prosecutions Shamila Batohi and Justice Minister Ronald Lamola have been called to appear before Parliament on Wednesday – to answer questions about why Investigating Directorate (ID) head Hermione Cronje asked to step down. 

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06 Dec 2021

Investigating Directorate head Hermione Cronje to vacate office, NPA denies 'crisis'

Advocate Hermione Cronje – head of the corruption-busting Investigating Directorate (ID) – has asked to prematurely step down from her position, prosecutions boss Shamila Batohi has confirmed.

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