NPA being bolstered to fight corruption, says Lamola

Tuesday, May 3, 2022

Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development, Ronald Lamola, says the department is strengthening the National Prosecuting Authority’s human and financial capacity is critical to entrenching the rule of law and fighting fraud and corruption.

The Minister was giving Parliament’s Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services an overview of the ministry’s performance plans for the current financial year.

“We are in full flight mode in the rebuilding of the National Prosecuting Authority. We are – as much as possible – directing critical resources to the NPA to ensure that it has the human resource capital and the financial resources to respond to the many crimes which afflict our communities, despite the challenging fiscal environment that we find ourselves in.

“Furthermore, this new injection of resources must enable the NPA to combat organised crime, white collar crime and corruption. We know that it is not enough but at least, it is in the right direction to enable them to rebuild and to plan ahead,” the Minister said.

Lamola told the committee that since its establishment, the NPA’s Investigating Directorate is making strides in high level prosecutions.

According to the Minister, the directorate has declared 82 investigations and enrolled at least 20 cases with 65 accused. It has also prioritised nine corruption matters for enrolment within the next six months.

“In their own words, [National Director of Public Prosecutions] Advocate Shamila Batohi and her Deputy Anton Du Plessis, have said that we are nearing a moment of high level prosecutions being executed without fear or favour. We shouldn’t second guess them. They are better placed than all of us to tell no lies and claim no easy victories,” he said.

Turning to the Special Investigating Unit, Lamola said there is objective proof that the corruption busting unit is a “vital cog in our accountability and consequence management framework as a State”.

“To date, the SIU has enrolled cases worth R77 billion in the Special Tribunal and High Court. We are now seized with how we strengthen co-operation between the SIU and other law enforcement agencies, such as the Directorate for Priority Crimes Investigation and NPA, having learnt lessons from the methodology adopted in the fusion center,” he said.

Furthermore, the Minister told the committee that the department is ready to cope with any influx of work as a result of the release of the State Capture Commission’s report.

“We are… mindful of the imminent and the already released Zondo Commission reports. Special Commercial Crimes Courts have been established in every province and the ones in Palmridge and Pretoria have been expanded to enable them to cope with the work that might come their way.

“We also have a team working on the implementation plan of the various findings of Zondo recommendations, which fall within scope of their work. This plan will be presented at the appropriate time to enable us to respond appropriately to the corruption cancer,” Lamola said. – SAnews.gov.za

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