Top crime categories in KZN include murders, corruption, and GBV: NPA

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The National Public Prosecuting Authority in KwaZulu-Natal says gender-based violence, murders, and corruption are the top three crime categories it’s grappling with in the province.

KwaZulu-Natal Director of Public Prosecution, Advocate Elaine Zungu, was briefing the media on the strategy and overall performance of the KZN division of the NPA.

She says the KZN division is divided into 6 clusters, with prosecutors dedicated to pursuing matters at the Regional and District courts.

KwaZulu-Natal was identified in the SAPS crime statistics as having the highest number of rape cases.  The stations of concern include KwaMashu, Inanda and Umlazi.

The NPA says cases of femicide are also rife in the province.

Last week, the police recovered the naked bodies of two women dumped at a neglected shopping site in Emlazi.

A police officer also appeared at the Pinetown Magistrates Court on Monday for the murder of two women aged 18 and 24 in Botha’s Hill near Hillcrest.

The NPA says in the last 6 months, it’s finalised 341 sexual offences cases, of which 244 were convictions.

Of the 57 cases of femicide, it has secured 54 guilty verdicts.

“At the moment, we are relying on the DNA project run by the NPA national office. This project started in October 2020. The division forwards its list of outstanding cases when DNA is required to the national office. The national office then liaises with the FSL on the list submitted. We are fortunate enough as KZN to report that we have received over a thousand of the reports,” says Adv Zungu.

In 2018, the president set up a Political Task Team which works with the NPA’s Organised Crime Unit to resolve cases related to political killings in the province.

Amongst the high-profile cases is the murder of former ANC Youth League Secretary-General, Sindiso Magaqa, which is scheduled for trial in April next year.

Zungu adds, “Of the 145 cases, 57 are in court. 30 of these are decision dockets in which there are still investigations outstanding or pending prosecution. 58 of the matters have been closed for various reasons.”

The NPA says the Specialised Commercial Crime Unit has enrolled 88 cases of corruption since April last year.

The unit has also received 16 Special Investigating Unit referrals in the current financial year.

The NPA says work is also underway to resolve cases related to the July 2021 unrest.

Sindiso Magaqa case

Zungu says the case involving the murder of former ANC Youth League Secretary General Sindiso Magaqa will continue in April next year.

“Some high political killings matters which are in court the state versus Sibonelo Myeza and three others the deceased in this matter is Sindiso Magaqa. The next High Court date is 24 April to 12 May 2023 for trial.” -Reporting by Bongani Gema