The National Prosecuting Authority is clamping down on corruption after more than 200 government officials were convicted of graft. It said its conviction rate has increased in various categories of crime. However, it was piling pressure on those involved in corruption cases of more than R5 million. For serious commercial crimes cases the NPA achieved a conviction rate of 95%, which was 2% higher than last year where there was a 93% conviction rate, said the NPA in its annual report tabled in Parliament.
“The NPA is dedicated to contribute to the fight against corruption. To this end 17 persons were convicted of corruption where the amount involved is more than R5m whilst 210 government officials and 143 private persons were convicted for offences related to corruption,” stated the report.
Shamila Batohi, NPA head, said in the report that despite the challenges faced, prosecutors on the ground have been able to secure convictions. This report covers a period prior to my taking office as the National Director of Public Prosecutions, marked by allegations of improper conduct by members of the leadership and possible complicity in state capture, which have emerged in the various commissions of enquiry, in particular the state capture commission led by Deputy Chief Justice Raymond Zondo. This has resulted in serious damage to the NPA’s reputation and credibility,” said Batohi.
She said the NPA was facing another financial constraint with the National Treasury cutting the budget. In the last budget, Finance Minister Tito Mboweni said more than R25 billion would be cut from state departments and entities over the next three years.
Despite the challenges, the NPA was on the mend. She maintained it would restore its credibility.
In the report, the NPA also said it got a 94% conviction rate in organised crime cases. The unit secured 296 convictions in organised crime cases in the last financial year out of 310 cases that were finalised in that time. The unit said its fight against crime and corruption was central to improving investor confidence in the country.
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