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NPA optimistic about SA’s progress against grey-listing

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The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) says it is confident that the country has made significant progress to stave off grey-listing. The Entity presented its annual report for the 2021/22 financial year to Parliament’s Justice and Correctional Services Committee (PJCSC) on Tuesday.

In 2019, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an international regulatory body, identified South Africa as one of the countries with weak legislation when it comes to combating money laundering and financing terrorism.

500 cases finalised

The Deputy National Director of Public Prosecutions, Rodney de Kock says in the period under review, more than 500 money laundering cases were finalised and 72 are on the court roll. He says that significant measures have been taken that weren’t in place in 2019 to address grey-listing.

De Kock adds, “At last interdepartmental meeting chaired by Treasury, NPA and Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI) was commended for work done in interim in the last two years. So Financial Intelligence Centre (FIC) and presentation were that we have made great strides in investigating and prosecuting…and we have demonstrated that too, in the evidence that we have submitted to the FATF.”

Dealing with money laundering 

Head of the NPA, Shamila Batohi, claims that in recent years, there’s been a lot more political will in dealing with matters relating to money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

She explains, “From NPA and law enforcement, can really say we have done a lot to avoid grey-listing. We must say at the time of review in 2019, there was no political will to deal with corruption or state capture, or money laundering. Since then I can say what has happened since is truly remarkable.”

Parliament’s Justice and Correctional Services Chairperson, Bulelani Magwanishe, says the Committee is cautiously optimistic about the progress the NPA is making to prevent the country from being grey-listed.

The Entity presented its 2021/2022 annual report to the committee, in which it stated that strides are being made to combat money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

‘Weak legislation’ 

In 2019, the international regulatory body, the FATF identified South Africa as one of the countries with weak legislation when it comes to combatting money laundering and the financing of terrorism.

The Country could be grey-listed by the FATF in February next year if measures are not put in place. Magwanishe says it sounds promising, for the side of law enforcement.

He says, “Holistically the report you have given, although we don’t know what they will be looking at, makes us optimistic that the state of affairs in 2019 and 2022 there have been improvements. Let’s keep our fingers crossed not grey-listed.”

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