National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) Shamila Batohi says that there are a lot of challenges at the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) that need urgent attention.
“I found huge challenges and I can safely say that it was worse than I expected but also very committed and dedicated staff,” she said.
Batohi also introduced a new Investigative Directorate head, advocate Hermione Cronje.
“I want to assure you that working with her in the past, I have absolute confidence she has the temperament and resolve for the job,” Batohi said of Cronje.
Cronje said the directorate would deal with serious and complex high-profile cases, particularly those emanating from commissions of inquiry. She added that the directorate would also look at corruption in the security sector and state-owned enterprises.
Cronje said: “Specifically the criminal justice system, we want to ensure that we restore the integrity of government and in order to do that, we need to get our own house in order first. The public needs to have confidence that those who need to address this problem are able and capable and have the integrity to do so.
“We want to ensure we restore the integrity of government. In order to do that, we need to get our house in order first.”
Batohi added she had to address what was an evident “leadership crisis” after being appointed to head the NPA. She also acknowledged the need for fresh new leadership at the entity.
“There is an absolute groundswell of good, dedicated prosecutors just wanting to do their jobs better and working under very difficult conditions and the problems with credibility in the NPA were largely one of leadership,” she said.