'Razor-sharp focus': NPA to prosecute 9 'seminal' state capture cases within next 6 months

National Director of Public Prosecutions Shamila Batohi
National Director of Public Prosecutions Shamila Batohi
  • The NPA is prioritising nine "seminal" state capture corruption cases.
  • They intend to enrol these cases within the next six months.
  • The NPA was determined to hold those involved in state capture to account, NDPP Shamila Batohi told the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services.

The National Prosecuting Authority's (NPA) Investigating Directorate (ID) intends to prosecute nine "seminal" corruption cases related to state capture within six months.

National Director of Public Prosecutions Shamila Batohi made this announcement as she presented the NPA's annual performance plan to the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services on Tuesday morning.

According to Batohi, the leadership transition at the ID, from Hermione Cronje to Andrea Johnson, had been "seamless", and the directorate was "poised for action". 

The ID has declared 82 investigations and enrolled 20 cases with 65 accused. And it has prioritised nine corruption matters for enrolment within the next six months.

She said the nine ones prioritised were "seminal cases that will talk to the heart of state capture".

This is also the main focus of the NPA for the coming year.

Batohi said:

The reality is that, right now, our response to the findings and recommendations of the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into State Capture is what will really be defining for the NPA and South Africa.

"The recent release of the Zondo Commission reports has highlighted how much damage state capture has done to our country. And the need for us in the NPA to act with a sense of urgency, not to respond to pressure, because that's when we make mistakes, but to act with a sense of urgency with a razor-sharp focus on particular cases.

READ | 'Impunity no longer an option' - Eskom, NPA ramp up team effort to crack state capture cases

"We are determined to ensure that those implicated in state capture are held to account. This will rebuild public confidence, which is closely linked to investor confidence and also to economic growth, which will help the poorest and the most vulnerable in our country and also deal with the increasing inequality gap in South Africa."

Batohi said they had evidence and plans in place to bring the "seminal corruption cases" to court within three to six months.

"This is our razor-sharp focus. Primarily, it is on the ID. We need to make sure that accountability for corruption is the norm and not the exception."

She said it would be a challenging few months for the NPA.

She added:

Whether a name is mentioned or not mentioned in the Zondo Commission report will not be whether the NPA prosecutes or decide not to prosecute. We follow our own processes, and we will follow the evidence at the end of the day in our decisions to prosecute.

Batohi said they were working closely with the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI), better known as the Hawks.

"Capacitation is still key."

She added that expanding the powers of the ID and making it a permanent body would be critical to moving its work forward.

Johnson, who took over from Cronje in March, said the ID staff had a very clear "appreciation of the urgency of what must be done".

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