NPA says it wants to be removed from the Justice Department

The NPA says it wants to be removed from under the umbrella of the Justice Department in order to operate like a Chapter 9 institution; therefore maintaining its independence.

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has reiterated that it wants to restore the public’s confidence in the institution.

The NPA says it wants to be removed from under the umbrella of the Justice Department in order to operate like a Chapter 9 institution; therefore maintaining its independence.

NPA Spokesperson, Sipho Ngwema, says they do not want to be viewed as an institution that is swayed by political interference.

“None of the NDPPs that have been appointed since 1998 have stayed the cause. Even the decisions by those who appoint national directors have been found out. Those are things we need to look at in order to create an institution that people will have confidence in. The credibility will be returned but also will stand the test of time and issues of finance, administration, etc. When prosecutors take these decisions, there is no fear of influence or pressure from the executive.”

In early October, public litigation institute, Accountability Now, warned that government’s failure to fund the NPA will seriously hamper its ability to fight corruption.

NPA NDPP Shamila Batohi told Parliament that a loss of budget would negatively impact the work done by the institution. Her statement came after a series of arrests following the evidence of witnesses at the Commission of Inquiry into State Capture in Johannesburg.

Batohi had previously cited several challenges faced by the NPA, including severe budgetary limitations, which had led to high vacancy rates and low staff morale.

She said in September the NPA needed to ensure that their receiving of private funding is not perceived as a form of state capture.

“It’s not like I am pursuing it. This has been something that government has; various projects which have been funded through donors and other types of other funding. But of course, we have to make sure that the perception that the NPA is not being captured. So, we are aware of that. There are provisions within the government framework and Treasury regulations to ensure that this type of funding is managed transparently. There is accountability as far as that is concerned, which we take very seriously.”