Germany boosts fight against improper conduct inside the NPA

The millions pledged by Germany will go towards the creation of a structure in the office of NPA head Shamila Batohi, where the public can lodge complaints and allegations about improper conduct involving staff. File photo.
The millions pledged by Germany will go towards the creation of a structure in the office of NPA head Shamila Batohi, where the public can lodge complaints and allegations about improper conduct involving staff. File photo.
Image: Alon Skuy

Germany has pledged about R9.5m towards the fight against improper conduct in the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).

The money would go towards the creation of a structure in the office of NPA head Shamila Batohi, where the public could lodge complaints and allegations about improper conduct involving staff.

NPA spokesperson Sipho Ngwema described the initiative as a critical drive to achieve the strategic pillars of public credibility, independence, professionalism and accountability.

“The envisaged structure, which is provided for in the NPA Act, will give direct access to her office by members of the public to report any misdemeanour involving members of the NPA.

“Over a decade or so the NPA was entangled in allegations of 'state capture' as some of its prominent members were accused of being appointed into leadership positions to weaken the NPA, and to act in the interest of certain political and personal influences,” said Ngwema.

He said these allegations and perceptions of politically motivated changes in leadership and allegations of impropriety against some of the authority's senior leaders led to an exodus of skilled staff, the freezing of new appointments and a virtual end to its professional development and training programmes.

The Zondo commission of inquiry is investigating allegations around state capture.

Ngwema said when Batohi was appointed in December 2018, she committed to restore the credibility of the NPA and regain the respect the institution once enjoyed.

“Further, 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'.”

The new structure will be implemented through technical assistance provided by the Institute for Security Studies, said Ngwema.

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