Silas Ramaite: NPA has lost its way

Five advocates were interviewed for the top job at the Union Buildings in Pretoria on Wednesday.

Advocate Silas Ramaite during the interviews for the National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) position at the Union Building on 14 November 2018. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA/Pool)

PRETORIA - Candidates for the position of prosecutions boss have been saying all the right things, promising integrity, independence, and to bring stability to the troubled organisation.

Five advocates were interviewed for the top job at the Union Buildings in Pretoria on Wednesday.

President Cyril Ramaphosa appointed a panel led by Minister Jeff Radebe to shortlist and interview candidates and make three recommendations to him.

LISTEN: Why it’s important to find a suitable NPA head

Advocate Silas Ramaite says the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has lost its way.

“You’ve got a culture in the office of the NDPP [National Director of Public Prosecutions] – now if that is not underpinned by the belief in constitutional values [and] rule of law, you are likely to have those challenges.”

Advocate Siyabulela Mapoma says he’s fiercely independent.

“I’m not beholden to anyone, I’m very independent. I don’t owe anyone anything [and] there’s no one that I owe a favour to.”

Advocate Matodzi Makhari says no one has dared tried to interfere with her as a prosecutor.

“The way I am strict, and it’s known, and I even got a nickname and that’s why people may not want to try the dragon lady.”

Four more candidates are scheduled to testify today.

(Edited by Thapelo Lekabe)