The National Prosecution Authority has described the R10.3m donation as a “major boost” for its efforts to restore public trust in the organisation.
THE OFFICE of South Africa’s National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP), Shamila Batohi, has received a 500 000 euro donation (about R10.3 million) from Germany towards establishing a structure where the public can raise concerns about improper conduct within the prosecutions service.
The National Prosecution Authority (NPA) described the donation as a “major boost” for its efforts to restore public trust in the organisation after its independence was widely seen as compromised during the state-capture era under former president Jacob Zuma.
“The government of Germany has pledged 500 000 euros towards this critical drive to achieve the NPA’s strategic pillars of public credibility, independence, professionalism and accountability,” it said.
The NPA said it had in the past decade been “entangled in allegations” of being “state captured” as it emerged that senior posts at the organisation were filled with people appointed to sabotage investigations and protect politicians.
These allegations and perceptions of politically-motivated changes in leadership and the allegations of impropriety against some of its senior leaders led to an exodus of skilled staff, the freezing of new appointments, as well as a virtual end to its professional development and training programmes.
The Zondo commission of inquiry into state capture, headed by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo, is probing allegations that members of the NPA were part of a conspiracy to discredit the former head of the Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation, known as the Hawks, in KwaZulu-Natal, Johan Booysen, through fabricated charges.
The German donation comes as Batohi, who was appointed in 2018, faces criticism for tolerating the continued employment of staff embroiled in that scandal, albeit in lesser positions following the leaking of the so-called De Kock Report.
The confidential report, dated June 2019, points to evidence that former NDPP advocate Shaun Abrahams, former deputy NDPP Nomgcobo Jiba, former deputy NDPP Sello Maema and former advocate Moipone Noko, lied to enable charges against Booysen.
Of the four, only Abrahams and Jiba have left the NPA.
The NPA on Tuesday stressed that Batohi, upon taking office, had vowed to restore the credibility of the organisation.
“She undertook ‘to rebuild and lead a trusted and effective prosecution service that ensures justice to all South Africans through independent, professional and victim-centred service delivery’,” it said.
The NPA Act provides for the setting up of the complaints mechanism in her office.
The new structure will be implemented through technical assistance provided by the Institute for Security Studies.
– African News Agency (ANA)