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Minister Lamola outlines how the investigators will work with NPA to speed up prosecutions

Ronald Lamola

Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola has outlined how the Zondo Commission and the Investigating Directorate of the National Prosecuting Authority will collaborate in the sharing of information and documents.

Lamola said the two institutions have already signed a protocol on the sharing of records and the hiring of investigators of the commission by the directorate would be allowed. He made the statement when he was responding to parliamentary questions from DA MP Werner Horn.

Horn asked about steps the Investigating Directorate has taken to speed up its investigations and prosecutions of crimes related to the Zondo since the amendment to the commission’s regulations.

In his reply, Lamola said corruption in the country has imposed severe costs. We are continuously intensifying our fight against corruption to ensure economic recovery, achieve better services with taxpayers’ money and reestablish trust around the world,” he said.

Lamola also said the amendment, which allowed for the hiring of the commission’s investigators when it started wrapping its work from the end of the month, provided significant impetus to the Investigating Directorate’s work.

Minister Ronald Lamola

“The Investigating Directorate has since its inception been hamstrung by the inability to hire its own investigators, in part, because the 2008 amendments to the NPA Act removed the post of special investigator from the NPA.

“The latest regulations allow the Zondo Commission to share information, records or documents directly with the ID (and any state law-enforcement agency in South Africa).”

He said the NPA and the Zondo Commission signed a protocol to regulate sharing of information between the two entities in a manner that would ensure enhanced collaboration in the investigations on August 7.

He also said the mutual cooperation included access to the commission’s capabilities and recruitment of its investigators.

The minister said the directorate and the commission acknowledged the need for a clearly formulated plan on how best to sustain the utilisation of the commission’s data-centre for the benefit of the broader criminal justice system.

Lamola also said the investigators from the commission would be hired by the directorate by the end of September when the Commission hopes to wrap up its investigations.

“A working group will, among other key initiatives, prepare a recommendation to the National Director of Public Prosecutions, Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, and the Minister of Finance, specifying terms and conditions of employment for persons with specific skill, experience and expertise to be appointed to prosecute in specific cases in terms of section 38 of the NPA Act.

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Source: IOL