The National Prosecuting Authority, (NPA), says that it is slowly rebuilding the institution after years of being “underminated” by those who sought State capture.
The prosecutorial body was responding the the publication of the first tranches of the State Capture Report.
In the report by Acting Chief Justice Raymond Zondo (chairperson of the State Capture Commission), the NPA was criticized for “failing…to have responded adequately or at all to the challenges presented by State capture”. He recommended that a thorough re-evaluation of the NPA’s structure be done in order to identify the reasons and nature of institutional weaknesses.
In a statement, NPA stated that it does not shy away from acknowledging the difficulties it faces.
” Advocate Shamila Batohi has acknowledged publicly the difficulties faced by the NPA in prosecuting high-level corruption cases. “The NDPP also pointed out the challenges faced by the NPA’s law enforcement counterparts and the impact that this has on NPA’s ability to prosecute complex offenses,” read the statement.
The NPA acknowledged that it would be difficult and time-consuming to rebuild the institution.
“Despite significant progress, the NPA continues to be rebuilt slowly and steadily to fulfill its crucial mandate. The NPA will continue to prioritize internal processes in order to ensure that any prosecutors involved in criminality or inappropriate conduct, even in the context state capture, are treated fairly and effectively. “
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The prosecuting authority stressed that its independence from any influence is crucial for it to carry out its mandate to prosecute wrongdoers.
“[Given] Given the urgency of avoiding the capture of the NPA or any other state institution that brought South Africa near to financial collapse, it is vital that the NPA’s de facto and de jure independence be guaranteed, both in terms of its relationship and the way the NPA’s senior leadership are appointed.
” As the NPA intensifies its prosecution of state-capture suspects, it is vital that their actions are independent from any undue influence. Any other approach will result in South Africa losing trust in the rule and fairness of law, which is already at alarmingly low levels for many reasons. “
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