NPA’s independence should never be questioned, says Lamola

Justice and Constitutional Development Minister Ronald Lamola said the NPA projected a shortfall of just over R121 million during the 2018/2019 financial year.

FILE: Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola. Picture: EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Government said it would ensure the independence of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) was not compromised by private donor funding.

Justice and Constitutional Development Minister Ronald Lamola said the NPA projected a shortfall of just over R121 million during the 2018/2019 financial year.

Lamola on Tuesday tabled his department’s R21.1 billion budget vote.

The National Director of Public Prosecutions Shamila Batohi said they had received many offers for private funding but stressed that the intentions of donors should be pure.

Lamola emphasised that resources within the NPA should be bolstered, particularly to employ more middle and senior staff members.

At least R3.9 billion of his department’s budget would be directed to the NPA.

Lamola said even though the body was struggling financially, the NPA’s independence should never be questioned.

“Societal and public expectation is that the NPA needs to work and help us to fight the scourge of corruption, so for it to be able to function, it needs funding. If the fiscus does not have it, private donor funding must be able to help us. But how do we ensure that the NPA is insulated?”

Batohi added the NPA also approached the criminal assets recovery account for funding.