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ASRI Report: The NPA’s Adv Shamila Batohi Comes Under Fire

Dec 11, 2021

Umm Muhammed Umar

The National Prosecuting Authority’s Advocate Shamila Batohi had had to clarify the state of the NDPP in the wake of the resignation of the head of the unit, Advocate Hermoine Cronje. Radio Islam discussed this with ASRI’s, brother Angelo Fick.

Fick said that in some senses the NDP was not in a crisis. He said that organizations do change their personnel, and that did not mean that changes were automatically affected within the organization itself. He said the system had to change, in any organisation or the old personnel would make the new personnel deal with the same issues and problems. Where corruption was concerned, Fick said that the focus was always on the new, or additional people, who were corrupt, instead of what had made corrupting them even possible.

Addressing Cronje’s resignation, Fick said that had followed rumours and reports about interpersonal conflict, which Shamila Batohi had denied, as well as other issues around not finding support in the organization, also denied by Batohi. Fick said, “but what is troubling, is that when Batohi went to parliament to account for the NDPP’s achievements or lack of achievements, she was not going to be drawn, she refuses to be drawn, on what the reasons were for Cronje’s resignation.” He added, “Now, she could have spun out and said there were personal reasons, there was self-development reasons, but she simply chose not to reveal that, which of course did not put all of us at ease.”

Fick said that there was also too much focus on the State Capture-Gupta nexus. He said that Batohi had been very keen to explain where in the process they were with those kinds of prosecutions and how difficult that had been, the red notices from Interpol, and various other very specialist skills needed to investigate. Fick asserted, “But what I think people do want answers on, is the kind of corruption we’ve seen in the last 20 to 24 months, particularly those involving health sector provision issues, including the Department of Health protective equipment scandal, and also the issue that we have had with the National Minister of Health, now removed from his position, Dr Zweli Mkize, and the Digital Vibes scandal.”

Regarding those who had been killed under the apartheid regime, and the issues coming out of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Fick said that there were cases which simply have not been followed up. He said families have been left with no answers as to where their loved ones were, how they had died, and how to go about getting the process of grieving done. He said, “I think it’s important for us to note that the slow movement on that is now decades old. And the fact that they’re only now dealing with some of those cases is not just about backlog, it’s also about political interference by people in key positions in the 2000s, who wouldn’t pursue those cases.”

He concluded that the NDPP could not not be affected by the issues that have affected all the other parts of the South African state, which is that the internal rift in the governing party, and because of its policy of cadre deployment across the state. He said that those conflicts between cadres in the ANC may also be flowing into conflict inside organs of the state, and that the NDPP may be part of that mix. Fick said that Adv Batohi had to be transparent, if not with the South African public, at least to those intelligence agencies and our representatives in Parliament about exactly what those challenges are in addition to funding and expertise that may be hampering the work of this very crucial aspect of justice provision in South Africa.



Prime Spot!!!


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