Get to know the shortlisted NDPP candidates

Eyewitness News looks at the 5 candidates shortlisted for the position of National Director of Public Prosecutions.


JOHANNESBURG - Who is set to be South Africa's next National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP)?

In August, the Constitutional Court set aside the appointment of Advocate Shaun Abrahams and gave the president 90 days to appoint a new head of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).

The panel appointed by President Cyril Ramaphosa to help him pick the ideal candidate interviewed 11 legal professionals last week and gave him the shortlisted names over the weekend.

The president has until 19 December to make the appointment.

Eyewitness News looks at the five shortlisted candidates:

Advocate Siyabulela Mapoma:

Advocate Siyabulela Xhanti Mapoma during the interviews for the National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) at the Union Buildings. Picture: Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA/Pool)

Siyabulela Mapoma is an advocate and former member of the Scorpions. He says resisting and managing pressure is a key attribute of the ideal candidate.

Mapoma says the prosecutions boss must be guided by the Constitution and the law.

“Your independence must come out clearly, you mustn’t bow down to pressure easily and the decisions the NPA takes are not always popular but if they are based on the Constitution and law, then I think it’s pressure that one can bear.”

Advocate Andrea Johnson:

A video screengrab of advocate Andrea Johnson during an interview for the position of prosecutions boss at the Union Buildings in Pretoria on 15 November 2018. Picture: YouTube

Andrea Johnson is a state prosecutor and you might remember her from the Oscar Pistorius trial.

Johnson says if she’s appointed, there’ll be a major shake-up.

“When I walk in there as the national director, I will firstly deal with that upper structure of management because they are the problem that filters down to the rest of the NPA. Some of the individuals have overstayed their welcome in terms of their portfolios.”

Advocate Rodney de Kock:

Western Cape Director of Public Prosecutions Rodney de Kock. Picture: EWN

Rodney de Kock is the Western Cape's top prosecutor, he's worked as DPP for nearly two decades.

His most high-profile case is the Anni Dewani murder, in which he negotiated plea bargains with Dewani's killers as well as the extradition of her husband Shrien.

During his interview, when asked what needs to be done to salvage the Prosecuting Authority, he said: “We have to recommit the staff of the institution to the values of the country, we have to refocus the energies of the people to do their work, the right thing and to know what their purpose is as prosecutors. I believe the majority of prosecutors understand that and are hard working.”

Advocate Shamila Batohi:

A YouTube video screengrab of Advocate Shamiela Batohi.

Shamila Batohi is a former state prosecutor from KwaZulu-Natal and now International Criminal Court law advisor.

Her most high profile case is the prosecution of the late former Proteas captain, Hansie Cronje, who was involved in match-fixing scandals.

Batohi says the NPA vision to deliver justice needs to be expanded.

“To create confidence in the NPA in the eyes of the public and I think that’s what has to drive everything that the NDPP does. If we can ensure that the NPA has credibility and trust as far as the public is concerned, then I think we’ve come a long way.”

Advocate Simphiwe Mlotshwa:

A video screengrab of Advocate Simphiwe Mlotshwa being interviewed for the NDPP position on 16 November 2018 at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.

Simphiwe Mlotshwa is a former state prosecutor and practising advocate. He resigned from the NPA in 2015.

He believes he is a credible candidate because, in his words, all the decisions that he took in the NPA "have never been challenged".

The advocate says if he is appointed as the prosecutions boss, among his first steps to turn the NPA around is to open up communication channels.

“As things stand right now, people can’t talk, they are dead scared to say a word and they are scared of disciplinary actions being taken against them.”