Batohi defends criticism of slow pace on prosecution of serious crimes by NPA

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The National Director of Public Prosecutions at the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), Shamila Batohi, has defended the criticism on the slow pace of prosecution of various serious crimes including fraud and corruption by some politicians.

The NPA recently has taken flack for not speedily prosecuting the people who were implicated in cases referred to it by the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) including the reports of the Zondo Commission.

Batohi told the Standing Committee on Public Accounts (SCOPA) in Parliament that the decision to prosecute is only taken where there is a likely possibility of winning the case.

Adv. Shamila Batohi concedes the NPA is yet to successfully prosecute a high profile corruption case 

She says in order for that to happen there must be concrete sufficient evidence to win the case beyond reasonable doubt.

“We only prosecute where there is sufficient evidence that the possibilities of a successful prosecution are good. That is actually the only time that we will actually enroll the matter. So it’s really important that all of us the SIU, the NPA actually brought the strengths of our different mandates as law enforcement agencies,” says Batohi.

Meanwhile, Batohi says the entity plans to approach the National Treasury with the aim to request for an establishment of a trust fund. Batohi says this is part of attracting private donors like businesses to assist in funding the NPA for its work.

“We have been looking at various options so that-for example, we even want to engage with Treasury about, Treasury setting up a trust for example where people are making anonymous donations, and I am just putting things into the pot. We are still looking at what will work best so that the issue of …It’s not the question of the hands that feeds you. You know it’s about where we have been engaging with business again. You know working with business against crime this is not a new phenomenon.”

The NPA and DPCI review the findings and recommendations of the State Capture Report