NPA tackling local government corruption

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The Head of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), Advocate Shamila Batohi is shining a spotlight on widespread corruption in municipalities, particularly as her office prepares to take on a number of such cases.

Batohi was speaking during the NPA’s presentation to the Select Committee on Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Water and Sanitation and Human Settlements.

“There has been steady progress being made by the NPA and its partners, in particular with regard to municipal matters. The challenge of resources was always an issue but we have vigorously capacitated in order to be able to deal with this. There’s been a lot of work that has been done in this space. The NPA now has a full leadership team, including permanent appointments in the regions,” Batohi said.

BATOHI: MUNICIPALITIES LACK SYSTEMS TO PREVENT CORRUPTION

Advocate Shamila Batohi added that despite progress, too many municipalities still lack the systems to prevent corruption when it first occurs and that the volume of investigations and prosecutions of municipal corruption is a reflection of this.

“Where we are right now is because of the complete failure on the part of municipalities to do their work properly and ensure that there are systems and processes in place that do not allow for corruption to take place. Our constrained resources are really being stretched to the limit because of the lack of systems and controls in the municipalities to deal with these issues,” she said.

Batohi further said the NPA is facing several internal and external challenges in its bid to root out and prosecute corrupt individuals.

“There’s a huge responsibility on those in charge of municipalities now to work very closely with law enforcement to ensure that we’re able to get the evidence that we need to bring these cases to court. One of the challenges… is of evidence disappearing within the municipalities. That is a serious concern and there should be systems and processes put in place to ensure that evidence in the municipalities is properly protected. That is, at the end of the day, something that will determine the success of cases,” she said.

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