NPA defends hotel stays and flights for investigative unit head

Head of the investigations directorate Hermione Cronje (left) and National Director of Public Prosecutions Shamila Batohi at a media briefing at the NPA head office in Silverton, Pretoria, on May 24 2019.
Head of the investigations directorate Hermione Cronje (left) and National Director of Public Prosecutions Shamila Batohi at a media briefing at the NPA head office in Silverton, Pretoria, on May 24 2019.
Image: Ntswe Mokoena, GCIS.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has defended the cash it spent on accommodation and flights for its investigative directorate head Hermione Cronje.

Cronje reportedly travels from Cape Town to the NPA headquarters in Pretoria each week, where she attends meetings and attends to strategic planning and operational commitments.

An EWN report on Monday revealed that the cash-strapped NPA was spending R2,000 a night in hotel stays for four nights a week for Cronje, and an additional R4,000 each week on flights between Gauteng and the Western Cape.

This was all since her appointment in May.

NPA spokesperson Bulelwa Makeke said this was a temporary, yet necessary, expense.

“Adv Cronje is currently stationed in Cape Town and will relocate to Pretoria at the end of the year. Her appointment to the NPA occurred at short notice and as a mother with school going children, she could not uproot them,” Makeke said.

EWN reported that the expenses incurred by the unit came after National Director of Public Prosecutions, Shamila Batohi, told parliament that the NPA was in a financial pinch, stating that they may gave difficulties in paying employees’ salaries. This was repeated by justice minister Ronald Lamola.

Makeke, however, clarified that Cronje’s travel and accommodation arrangements did not factor into this.

“That new unit has been allocated budget, including for travel and accommodation,” she said, adding that despite the financial constraints faced by the NPA, its work needed to continue.


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