New dawn: em­ploy a woman to run NPA

Weekend Argus (Sunday Edition) - - OPINION - MORGAN PHAAHLA Ekurhu­leni, Vosloorus

ISN’T it time for a fe­male Na­tional Di­rec­tor of Pub­lic Prose­cu­tions (NDPP)? It’s ab­so­lutely nec­es­sary that women be given the man­date to pre­side over prose­cu­tions in a coun­try plagued by vi­o­lence, crime and cor­rup­tion that dampen some hope of a bet­ter life for all.

Com­pare the lauded ma­tri­arch of suc­cess­ful con­vic­tions to the mod­ern-day Pharaoh, who preaches cor­dial re­la­tions with politi­cians while ne­glect­ing the re­spon­si­bil­ity to act on prima fa­cie ev­i­dence of wrong­do­ing to the de­gree of in­ep­ti­tude. And then pass the buck to the po­lice, a de­fault ex­cuse to turn a blind eye to the cor­rup­tion that de­nies so­ci­ety the es­sen­tial jus­tice. This can­not be equated to work­ing for the pub­lic good, but throw­ing the rule of law out of the win­dow to dis­pense jus­tice with re­luc­tance or in­dif­fer­ence. To pon­tif­i­cate com­mon good to the point of be­ing on au­topi­lot is as pa­thetic as try­ing to de­ci­pher the dis­tinc­tion be­tween crime and of­fence. Not sur­pris­ingly, the Na­tional Pros­e­cut­ing Au­thor­ity (NPA) has a pen­chant for com­mit­ting ju­di­cial er­rors on a whim be­cause the pros­e­cu­tion of crimes is in the clutches of the po­lit­i­cal elites. We’ve seen an up­surge in di­vi­sions and fac­tional ma­noeu­vrings within the NPA – no­tably po­lit­i­cal machi­na­tions that date back to the era of for­mer pres­i­dent Thabo Mbeki.

The se­lec­tive jus­tice that be­gun by the Na­tional Party has been the norm since bad­dies oc­cu­pied the pros­e­cu­tion quar­ters to ren­der the state de­void of ju­di­cial of­fi­cers with in­tegrity. But the suc­cess­ful ten­ure of the first fe­male pub­lic pro­tec­tor proved that women are not un­der any threat of be­ing in­flu­enced or sus­cep­ti­ble to ma­nip­u­la­tion, with ex­cep­tions of course. Let’s just imag­ine how to­mor­row would look like with a woman at the helm of the NPA. We should al­low such an in­cred­i­ble changeover to hap­pen.

Not un­less we’re not se­ri­ous about the new dawn.

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