Citizen Reporter
2 minute read
1 Dec 2021
5:23 pm

Accountability Now threatens to take NPA to court over slow pace of prosecutions

Citizen Reporter

NPA spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga denied that it was dragging its feet, and asked Accountability Now to be patient.

National Director of Public Prosecutions (NPPA) Adv Shamila Batohi. Former AFU head Willie Hofmeyr said the NPA will need time to deal with the state capture cases. Photo: Gallo Images / Phill Magakoe

Accountability Now has threatened to take National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) boss advocate Shamila Batohi to court to force her to investigate and prosecute high-profile cases.

The cases Accountability Now is referring to include those against former president Jacob Zuma and Police Minister Bheki Cele.

News24 reported that Accountability Now director advocate Paul Hoffman wrote a letter to Batohi two months ago accusing her and the NPA of procrastination.

“Waiting for action from the NPA has become intolerable, and the violation of its obligation to attend to its constitutional duties diligently and without delay can no longer be ignored in our correspondence with you and your staff. An obvious way forward would be an application to the High Court for a declarator, mandamus and supervision order,” said Hoffman.

“The lack of progress by the NPA in the matters of which we complain would seem to suggest that there are structural, operational, capacity, skills and sabotage challenges to the NPA ever getting on top of serious corruption in its currently hollowed out and compromised state,” he added.

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Accountability Now highlighted two high-profile cases. In the first, it wants the NPA to speed up the prosecution of Zuma and former justice minister, Michael Masutha, for the removal of Mxolisi Nxasana as National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) in 2013.

It also wants the NPA to investigate and prosecute Cele after he irregularly awarded two R1.7 billion lease contracts for the police headquarters when he was police commissioner in 2010.

Accountability Now has even proposed a constitutional amendment of the National Prosecutions Act to address the problem. 

Speaking to The Citizen, NPA spokesperson Mthunzi Mhaga denied that it was dragging its feet, and asked for Accountability Now to be patient.

“These matters are under investigation and we are prioritising them but wish they can exercise some patience,” he said.

Additional reporting by Narissa Subramoney

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