Abrahams: Loss of NPA prosecutors would be catastrophic for justice system

Abrahams revealed that the NPA has lost 78 prosecutors to magistrates courts around the country in the last two years.

FILE: Shaun Abrahams briefs the media at the NPA headquarters. Picture: Kayleen Morgan/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) is losing hundreds of prosecutors which could prove "catastrophic" for the criminal justice system.

This is the warning from National Director of Public Prosecutions Shaun Abrahams, who briefed Parliament on the NPA's annual performance plan on Tuesday.

Abrahams revealed that the NPA has lost 78 prosecutors to magistrates courts around the country in the last two years.

To date, more than 850 prosecutors have applied for the recently advertised 297 vacancies in the magistracy.

Approximately 60% of these advertised magistrates posts were filled by prosecutors.

National Director of Public Prosecutions Shaun Abrahams: "Should we lose any more prosecutors without the vacancies being filled in the National Prosecuting Authority, it will be catastrophic for the NPA and the administration of justice."

Losing key staff is not the only challenge facing the NPA.

The prosecutions authority is also battling budgetary constraints which place severe strain on its staff establishment.