Batohi's appointment as new NPA head welcomed

The African National Congress says it shows the country is moving forward when it comes to gender equality.

President Cyril Ramaphosa announces Shamila Batohi as the new NPA head at the Union Buildings in Pretoria on 4 December 2018. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - There's been a positive reaction to Shamila Batohi's appointment.

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced Batohi's appointment on Tuesday at the Union Buildings.

The African National Congress says it shows the country is moving forward when it comes to gender equality.

Spokesperson Pule Mabe said: “We also believe that this appointment reflects how far the nation has come in advancing women empowerment, particularly women of the calibre of Shamila Batohi, who is able to wage their own firm heads and shoulders on their male counterparts.”

The Democratic Alliance has congratulated Batohi on her appointment, saying they expect her to tackle state capture head on.

The party's Nicole Mirkin said: “This means, amongst other things, restituting charges against the accused in the Estina Dairy Farm matter, ensure that former President [Jacob] Zuma’s application for a permanent stay of prosecution is vigorously opposed and taking extra steps in ensuring the extradition of members of the Gupta family.”

At the same time, the Council for the Advancement of the South African Constitution (Casac) says it hopes this appointment will mark a period of stability at the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) and a return to its constitutional mandate to prosecute without fear or favour.

Casac executive secretary Lawson Naidoo said: “She someone who is a professional prosecutor who has served the International Criminal Court and I think that international experience is something that will assist her in facing the challenges that she will at the National Prosecuting Authority.”

The General Council of the Bar of South Africa says Batohi taking over is important for the rebuilding process of the NPA to start.

Its chairperson Craig Watt-Pringle said: “The General Council of the Bar welcomes the fact that the president has made a permanent appointment which would make it possible for the NPA to the right path and for the rebuilding process to commence. We also welcome the fact that a credible and open process was used in making this election.”

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(Edited by Mihlali Ntsabo)