Pretoria - During the past year, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has prosecuted and finalised 387 667 cases and secured a conviction rate of 88 percent in the country’s High Courts.
This is according to Justice and Constitutional Development Deputy Minister Andries Nel who was responding to a Parliamentary question on the capacity of the NPA in the National Assembly on Thursday.
He said 74.8 percent of cases were prosecuted in the Regional Courts and 91.8 percent in the District Courts.
Nel said the NPA also contributed significantly to the decrease in backlog cases from 36 406 to 30 992 during the period April 2012 to January this year.
“Notwithstanding these successes, we are constantly seeking to improve the capacity of the NPA through recruitment, training, and improving conditions of service through implementation of the Occupational Specific Dispensation (OSD) and access to health and wellness services.
“Almost all - 99 percent - funded prosecution posts within the NPA are currently filled. The filling of this post has been prioritised to ensure that the core business of prosecutions is not severely affected by the current financial constraints.
“As and when vacancies arise the NPA will continually assess and prioritise the filling of vacancies,” he said.
Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan, when he tabled the 2013/14 National Budget on Wednesday, indicated that South Africa, like many countries in the world, is experiencing economic constraints that impact adversely on the fiscus.
The NPA’s budget has been under significant pressure in the second half of this financial year.
Nel said this impacted negatively on the ability of the NPA to increase capacity through the creation of new posts and other aspects of the NPA’s operations.
The NPA has tried to do more with less by implementing austerity measures such as centralising the entire budget while the subsistence and travel claims were revisited to limit expenditure.
“Procurement of non-critical goods and services was suspended for the remainder of the year,” he said. - SAnews.gov.za