NPA’s new investigative directorate to announce its probes later in July

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the formation of the directorate in his State of the Nation Address in February and it was set up in April.

FILE: National Prosecuting Authority offices in Pretoria. Picture: EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The National Prosecuting Authority’s (NPA) new investigative directorate would be ready to announce its first batch of investigations by the end of this month.

NPA head Advocate Shamila Batohi said during a briefing of Parliament’s justice committee on Tuesday the directorate was prioritising certain short-term cases and putting together teams of investigators.

Headed up by Advocate Hermione Cronje, the directorate was intended to investigate cases arising from the state capture and other commissions of inquiry.

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the formation of the directorate in his State of the Nation Address in February and it was set up in April.

Batohi said the new directorate was almost ready for action.

“The aim for July is to formally declare the first batch of short-term investigations and to constitute teams and for the director to sign off on the first draft and project plans with regard to those investigations by the end of the month,” she said.

Batohi was only too aware of the pressure for criminal cases to follow the shenanigans laid bare at the state capture and other commissions of inquiry, but she has inherited a deeply divided organisation, a vacancy rate of 20% on average and an already too-small budget that could be cut further.

She has warned the investigative directorate wouldn't be the cure-all for corruption and was a short-term intervention. Batohi said the Hawks and the police had a huge role to play.