Ba­tohi is ready for bat­tle

Weekend Witness - - News -

NA­TIONAL Di­rec­tor of Pub­lic Prose­cu­tions (NDPP) Shamila Ba­tohi says she is un­der no il­lu­sion that she, the Na­tional Pros­e­cut­ing Au­thor­ity (NPA) and the new In­ves­tiga­tive Direc­torate will be the tar­get of po­lit­i­cal at­tacks.

“That’s go­ing to hap­pen, that’s def­i­nitely go­ing to hap­pen. We are go­ing to be ac­cused of pur­su­ing per­sons for po­lit­i­cal and other mo­tives. And we ex­pect to be at­tacked per­son­ally as well, and we hope that when it does hap­pen, that civil so­ci­ety and those who want to fight the good fight will be be­hind us,” Ba­tohi said at a press con­fer­ence at the NPA’s head­quar­ters in Sil­ver­ton, Pre­to­ria yes­ter­day.

Ba­tohi was up­dat­ing the me­dia about the progress she has made in re­con­fig­ur­ing the NPA since as­sum­ing of­fice in Fe­bru­ary this year.

She also in­tro­duced Ad­vo­cate Hermione Cronje as the head of the In­ves­tiga­tive Direc­torate in her of­fice. Cronje will lead a spe­cialised unit to in­ves­ti­gate and pros­e­cute al­le­ga­tions of state cap­ture and high-level cor­rup­tion.

Both Ba­tohi and Cronje seemed acutely aware of pub­lic ex­pec­ta­tions of the NPA’s new man­age­ment and the po­lit­i­cal mine­fields they will have to nav­i­gate.

They also ex­plained that the pub­lic’s ex­pec­ta­tion of jus­tice must be bal­anced with fair­ness and the need for thor­ough in­ves­ti­ga­tions.

“When you go af­ter the king you have to make sure you kill him. That means we need to have a wa­ter­tight case.

“Not just the ev­i­dence will be at­tacked, but we will be at­tacked, from var­i­ous quar­ters.

“We have to make sure we don’t rush with cases ...

She also dis­missed politi­cians’ crit­i­cism of her, in­clud­ing Julius Malema – who ac­cused her of be­ing con­trolled by Pravin Gord­han – and said there would be many opin­ions about her: “I don’t re­ally care what peo­ple say. I don’t care what hap­pens on Twit­ter. I, and the NPA, know what needs to be done,” she said. — News24.

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