EDITORIAL | Is that all you’ve got, Batohi?
NPA boss had the opportunity to take SA into her confidence on Monday, but she danced around the questions instead
On February 1 2019 adv Shamila Batohi took office as the national director of public prosecutions (NDPP) with the following words: “I am under no illusion about the challenges and the complexity of the task which lies before us. Our Rainbow Nation is reeling from corruption, violent crime and impunity. Corruption is driven by greed and selfishness. In certain contexts, when public institutions are corrupted, it amounts to theft from ordinary South Africans, just trying to make ends meet.
“I commit to leading an organisation which has the courage and ability to end this damaging state of affairs. Perpetrators of corruption and crime within the state and private sector — regardless of who you are, how rich you are and what position you hold — your days of acting with impunity are numbered.”
On Monday, close to three years later, those words rang hollow as Batohi was quizzed by the media about zero state capture convictions and the premature departure of adv Hermione Cronje, the head of the Investigating Directorate (ID) at the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA). The ID was to be the “new Scorpions”, part of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s new dawn to fight corruption. There is no “new” any more, only the old half-baked excuses South Africans have become used to. Batohi said she “fully understood SA’s impatience with the slow movement prosecutions”, but added: “We have to remember where the ID started — it started at zero.”..