Batohi: Criminal justice system has huge problems

While the NPA has scored high conviction rates, its boss Shamila Batohi said she agreed with Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng that this should not be used as a yardstick.

FILE: NDPP Shamila Batohi reported progress on the Steinhoff matter, saying the Hawks and prosecutors were working closely. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) head Shamila Batohi said while the NPA faced huge problems internally, the criminal justice system was so flawed some might call it dysfunctional.

Batohi, who took over the reins at the NPA in February, was briefing Parliament’s justice oversight committee on the NPA’s annual report on Tuesday.

“We cannot be under illusions about the fact that the NPA has massive problems internally, but the criminal justice system has huge problems, and some might say it’s even dysfunctional at many levels,” Batohi said.

While the NPA has scored high conviction rates, Batohi said she agreed with Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng that this should not be used as a yardstick.

“When you compare conviction rates to the number of reported cases, it is shockingly low – shockingly low. The police have these statistics, but I think it is sitting at under 10%, and that might even be a generous estimate.”

Batohi reported progress on the Steinhoff matter, saying the Hawks and prosecutors were working closely. The political killings in KwaZulu-Natal are another top priority.