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EXCLUSIVE: Luxury hotel stays for NPA investigative boss amid cash flow issues

National Director of Public Prosecutions Shamila Batohi told Parliament in July that the NPA did not have sufficient funds to pay all of its employee salaries this financial year.

FILE: Hermione Cronje also flies home to Cape Town every weekend to be with her family. Picture: YouTube screengrab.

JOHANNESBURG - Eyewitness News can on Monday reveal that despite telling Parliament it desperately needed cash, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has been funding investigative directorate head Hermione Cronje’s weekly stays at a luxury Pretoria hotel.

The NPA has justified the expenses as supporting essential services.

National Director of Public Prosecutions Shamila Batohi told Parliament in July that the NPA did not have sufficient funds to pay all of its employee salaries this financial year.

An NPA insider has told EWN that Cronje spends her working week in Pretoria at a luxury hotel, which is known to EWN but could not be revealed for security reasons. Cronje also flies home to Cape Town every weekend to be with her family.

The NPA declined to disclose the cost of these arrangements, however, a four-night stay at this particular hotel costs about R2,000 per night which amounts to about R160,000 if calculated from the date of Cronje’s appointment in mid-May.

The weekly return flights would cost about R40,000.

The NPA’s Bulelwa Makeke said the advocate’s appointment to the authority occurred at short notice and, as a mother of school-going children, she could not uproot them.

Makeke said Cronje planned to relocate to Pretoria at the end of the year.

She said the advocate worked from Cape Town but had to attend weekly meetings and planning sessions at the NPA’s offices, adding that the number of nights per week differed depending on the operational requirements.

The NPA declined to disclose how much Cronje’s weekly hotel stays and flights home to Cape Town had cost the organisation.

Makeke acknowledged their budget constraints but said essential services, such as Cronje’s attending important meetings in Pretoria, must continue.

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