Batohi defends hotel stays, flights for NPA investigative unit head
Advocate Shamila Batohi revealed that the NPA had spent just over R304, 000 on accommodating Advocate Hermione Cronje’s regular commutes between Pretoria and Cape Town, but she said it was all above board.
CAPE TOWN - National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) head Advocate Shamila Batohi has hit back at suggestions money was being squandered on flights and hotel accommodation for investigative directorate head Advocate Hermione Cronje while the NPA pleaded with Parliament for a bigger budget.
Batohi was asked about an **Eyewitness News **exclusive report on Monday that Cronje was being put up in a luxury Pretoria hotel and returning to Cape Town at the weekend to be with her family. She dealt with the matter while briefing Parliament’s justice committee on the NPA’s annual report for the past financial year on Tuesday afternoon.
Batohi revealed that the NPA had spent just over R304, 000 on accommodating Cronje’s regular commutes between Pretoria and Cape Town, but she said it was all above board.
The NPA head said Cronje stayed in a Pretoria hotel regularly used by government officials and the NPA paid government rates. She said Cronje had two young children and flew home to be with them at weekends.
“So, she’s actually taken on this position at great personal sacrifice. The accommodation, there’s nothing luxurious about it. She’s not flying business class,” Batohi said.
Batohi broke down the costs: “It’s all above board and, if anything, we actually owe her more… Accommodation costs R106,000, flights R144,900 and the car is R64,000. The total costs at the moment are R304,900.”
She added that Cronje was earning less than she would in the private sector. Cronje was expected to relocate to Pretoria at the end of the year.