New NPA boss Batohi: Corruption & state capture not insurmountable

Shamila Batohi will formally take office in February, after serving her notice period at the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

FILE: NDPP Shamila Batohi at the Union Buildings in Pretoria on 4 December 2018. Picture: EWN

PRETORIA/JOHANNESBURG – Newly appointed prosecutions boss Shamila Batohi says South Africa’s crises of corruption and state capture are not insurmountable.

The advocate made the remarks after accepting the nomination for the position from President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Batohi will formally take office in February, after serving her notice period at the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

Batohi says it must be recognised that challenges have always existed and will continue to exist.

“Poised as we are, a people and a nation upon the presuppose of corruption and a state of capture... let us not succumb to the despair at the thought that the challenges we face are insurmountable.”

Batohi says she stands with every prosecutor in the National Prosecution Authority (NPA), and together they stand for justice.

However, she says elements within the organisation who insist on frustrating the ends of justice, will not be tolerated.

Before formally taking office, Batohi has given her full support to the prosecutors within the organisation which she hopes to turn around.

Advocate Batohi told prosecutors, whom she referred to as “the lawyers of the people,” that they must know that from today the national director is behind them.

“Let the support extend to every corridor a prosecutor might tread upon, the turn of every door she might pass through and the benches in courts across the land because today, your NDPP stands with you, and together we stand for justice and the nation.”

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Ramaphosa says Batohi has all the requirements of the person to be the prosecutions boss.

“She has the experience, the consciousness and the integrity to be entrusted with the responsibility of being the next National Director of Public Prosecutions.”

Batohi says her only obligation is to serve the country with humility and dedication to the best of her ability.

She says the NPA she will represent will be ready to engage across all sectors of government and with civil society to enhance and instil confidence in the criminal justice system.

Batohi has pledged her full support to all the prosecutors in the country, whom she described as the lawyers for the people.

“It is a recognition by our president that the role of women in the pursuit of equality, justice

(Edited by Mihlali Ntsabo)