NPA Director admits reputational damage over High-Profile Cases

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National Director of Public Prosecutions, Adv Shamila Batohi says the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) will have to relook at its processes with regards to arresting high-profile suspects.

This after the Speaker of the National Assembly, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula took the entity to court last week, to stop her imminent arrest on charges of corruption from when she was Minister of Defense.

She was speaking on the SABC’s Unfiltered show.

Adv Batohi says the moves by the National Assembly Speaker may pose a real challenge to the NPA’s processes. Mapisa-Nqakula’s counsel lodged an application in the High Court in Pretoria on Monday, to interdict the prosecuting authority from arresting her and seeking access to the police docket for the case, ahead of her arrest.

Judgment in the case is scheduled for the 2nd of April.

“I can’t say too much about the matter because it is sub-judice, particularly where we are at the moment. But what I can say is that the way things have unfolded in this matter really requires us to rethink how we secure the attendance of suspects in the courts in the future. we try to be courteous and things so that it is less embarrassing to high profile persons it does not always work so we will have to rethink this in the future because the failure to secure the attendance could have a devastating impact on the efficiency of the criminal justice system.”

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Batohi says while over 850 000 cases are enrolled in the courts for prosecution, high-profile cases, particularly those linked to State Capture and highlighted by the Zondo Commission, attract heighted interest. She also acknowledged the reputational damage done to the NPA by the dismissal of the corruption case against former Eskom interim Chief Executive Matshela Koko and the Gupta-related Nulane Investment case in the Free State for undue delays by the NPA.

Batohi says the failed extradition of the Guptas, in relation to state capture, also cast the crime fighting entity in a bad light. She says while she has serious concerns about the good faith of the United Arab Emirates prosecutors, she and her team are still pushing for the brothers to be transported from that country to face trial in South Africa.

“We have done everything possible to ensure that the requirements for the extradition were properly complied with to the extent of sitting with UAE prosecutors, checking our application before it was submitted and they gave us the green light. So since the decision of the court in the UAE we have made several attempts. The minister has gone there and met their minister. We have met at a technical level with prosecutors. And since late last year I have personally, through a note verbal, personally we have requested that I meet with their prosecutions head.”

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