Ramaphosa makes four senior appointments at NPA — three of them women
President Cyril Ramaphosa has moved to bolster the top leadership of the National Prosecuting Authority with the appointment of four senior advocates on Thursday.
Among the appointments is that of advocate Anton du Plessis as deputy national director of public prosecutions, responsible for strategy, operations and compliance.
Du Plessis now leads the UN's work on the legal and criminal justice elements of the Security Council’s response to terrorism. He is the legal and criminal justice co-ordinator of the council’s counter-terrorism executive directorate in New York.
Du Plessis is a former prosecutor and senior state advocate who lead the National Prosecuting Authority’s development and rollout of specialised sexual offences courts and Thuthuzela Care Centres.
“He is a globally recognised criminal justice, serious crime and rule of law expert, with more than 20 years of management and operational experience in the field,” said Tyrone Seale, acting spokesperson to the president.
Du Plessis has worked on criminal justice and security sector reform in dozens of African countries, said Seale. He has researched and written on prosecution reform and presented papers at leading African and international conferences on the issue. He was previously the executive director of the Institute for Security Studies and served with the UN Office on Drugs and Crime in Vienna, Austria.
He joins advocates Ouma Rabaji-Rasethaba, Rodney de Kock and Nomvula Mokhatla to make up the full complement of four deputy national directors of public prosecutions in the NPA.
Du Plessis is one of four senior NPA appointments the presidency announced.
Ramaphosa also appointed advocate Lebogang Dineo Baloyi as special director of public prosecutions responsible for specialised commercial crime. Baloyi is a highly experienced senior deputy director of public prosecutions in the employ of the NPA with more than 20 years’ experience.
She was previously appointed at the directorate of special operations (the Scorpions), where she conducted and directed the investigation and prosecution of criminal cases. She also works with the anti-corruption task team and the fusion centre, which is a multi-agency body responsible for dealing with Covid-19 corruption-related matters.
Advocate Bonnie Currie-Gamwo has been appointed as special director of public prosecutions responsible for sexual offences and community affairs.
Currie-Gamwo specialises in gender-based violence and matters involving vulnerable groups, including woman, children and people from the LGBTQI community.
“Her skills as a litigator have secured the successful prosecutions of several child rapists, child murderers, traffickers and perpetrators of femicide,” said Seale.
She successfully managed various portfolios relating to these specialised crimes where she introduced important innovations to enhance the effectiveness of the NPA in dealing with these priority matters, he added.
Advocate Priya Biseswar has been appointed as special director of public prosecutions for the Asset Forfeiture Unit. For the past 10 months, as acting special director of public prosecutions, Biseswar has successfully contributed to the ongoing transformation of the unit.
She has vast experience in dealing with obligations in respect of international conventions to which SA is a signatory. She has been nominated by the NPA to serve as the secretariat of the Asset Recovery Inter-Agency Network of SA.
“These appointments are essential for the efficient functioning and rebuilding of the NPA as part of the fight against serious crime, including sexual and gender-based crimes and corruption, and as a contribution to deepening the capability of the state,” said Seale.
“These appointments align with the president and the national director of public prosecutions' [Shamila Batohi's] commitment to building the leadership of the NPA with a diverse and representative team of world-class and trusted experts that reflects the transformation and gender-empowerment imperatives of the government and the legal sector in SA.
“The appointment of three internal female leaders is particularly important in this regard,” he added.
Seale said Ramaphosa was confident the appointments will bolster the top leadership of the NPA to enable it to deliver effectively on its mandate.
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