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ISS report on NPA expected today

The ISS will today release a report calling for an all-new independent oversight mechanism for the NPA.

The ISS will today release a report calling for an all-new independent oversight mechanism for the NPA.

JOHANNESBURG - The Institute for Security Studies (ISS) is due to release a report today which calls for an all-new independent oversight mechanism for the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).

The NPA has formed an internal ' fact finding commission of inquiry' into the conduct of senior officials and allegations of political interference.

And its head Mxolisi Nxasana faces suspension.

The ISS report is based on an in-depth study of the NPA and compares how prosecuting authorities in other countries are monitored.

The institute's Gareth Newham says a new oversight body would need to have a solid understanding of how the NPA functions and be able to scrutinise decisions to drop certain prosecutions and why some prosecutions fall apart.

"The work of the prosecuting authority is so important that we really need another body that is external to the NPA, that understands the work that it does and is able to look at complaints."

He says the body could also explore low numbers of officials being dismissed, as well as missed targets.

"You don't see another body having any ability to interfere with the independent; it just helps to form a bridge between the public and the decisions that are taken. So we've got to clear a bridge and clear their accountability."

Newham adds, "It is so critical to fighting corruption and making sure that we can fight crime effectively that we really can't delay in ensuring that the commission of inquiry us up and running, that they're looking to why these problems have occurred, that these problems are quickly addressed."

The report looks at countries like Japan and England and proposes various options, which it argues, could help the NPA restore public confidence in its work.