EFF calls for NPA to be turned into a Chapter 9 institution

EFF MP Busisiwe Mkhwebane, a former head of a Chapter 9 institution, in the National Assembly said making the NPA a Chapter 9 institution would quell political influence.

Newly sworn in Economic Freedom Fighters member of Parliament and former Public Protector Busisiwe Mkhwebane on 20 October 2023. Picture: Supplied/@ParliamentofRSA/X

CAPE TOWN - The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has called for the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to be made a Chapter 9 institution, like the offices of the Public Protector or Auditor General.

The party said this would prevent any political influence from the executive and the justice ministry, specifically.

On Thursday, the National Assembly debated the need to evaluate the role played by Chapter 9 institutions in promoting constitutional democracy, with different political parties making submissions.

The NPA was led by several national directors of public prosecutions, which led to claims of political influence.

Not one head of the NPA has completed a full term of 10 years, with the closest being Bulelani Ngcuka, who served six years.

Now, EFF member of Parliament (MP) Busisiwe Mkhwebane said the NPA should have been turned into a Chapter 9 institution, like the Public Protector, and should not have reported or been influenced by the minister.

“The National Prosecuting Authority should be a Chapter 9 institution so that it can also be not accountable to the minister and any intervention which the executive might have.”

Democratic Alliance MP Glynnis Breytenbach said the reputation of some Chapter 9 institutions like the Public Protector, has been damaged by none other than Mkhwebane.

“However, the reputation of this office has been undermined severely over the last seven years over the lack of impartiality, objectivity, and inability or unwillingness of the erstwhile office bearer to always act in accordance with the Constitution and the law.”

MPs agreed that most Chapter 9 institutions need more resources to make them more effective to promote democracy.