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Donor funds for South Africa’s Prosecuting Authority

Mar 22, 2023

Hannah Omarjee |
20 March 2023 | 18:00 PM CAT
2 min read

Photo Credit: NPA

Nasreen Sheik, an International Human Rights lawyer and lecturer at the University of Cambridge, discussed Donor Funds for South Africa’s prosecuting authority and what it means for our justice system.

Sheikh said South Africa has struggled with a lack of prosecution over the past few decades, given the high crime rate and an eroding justice system. The country needs a greater capacity to prosecute crimes like homicide, petty theft, and those relating to gender-based violence.

According to the government, South Africa must procure and secure external donor funding to ensure that prosecutions are undertaken thoroughly, and justice is served.

Sheik says, “Donor funding can come from a myriad of sources. It might come from one of the partners, i.e., SADC, it might come from the African Union, it might come from the United Nations, it might very well come from BRICS, and that’s where the difficulty lies.”

Embarking on the procurement of donor funds often results in donor countries expecting something in return for their contributed funds. Sheikh believes that prosecutions might not go the way the NPA wishes. External donor funding might cause a bias in prosecuting big names, such as heads of state.

South Africa ranks very low in effective prosecution, not because of the lack of funding but because of the inability to process simple things, like a docket, charge sheets, disappearing of files because of bribes and the element of corruption, which is endemic in all our courts throughout the country. The country needs to ramp up its training and hold staff accountable at every level, from the bailiff to the judge, starting from the bottom upwards.

Listen to the full interview on Your World Today here.


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