Cases involving people who have been implicated in State Capture will be prioritised over the next 12 months, according to Director of Public Prosecutions Shamila Batohi.
Speaking during the annual Frederik Van Zyl Slabbert Honourary Lecture, Batohi says the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) will be focussing on prosecuting cases of grand corruption during this period.
She was speaking online during the lecture which was hosted by Stellenbosch University.
The annual lecture pays homage to the late Slabbert, who was an anti-apartheid activist, critical thinker and former Chancellor of Stellenbosch University.
The theme of Batohi’s address was, ‘Citizen-leadership in South Africa through the lens of accountability – action and service.’ She says a well-functioning justice system is critical for building a healthy country and a thriving economy.
She also emphasised tackling corruption, saying the wheels of justice are turning for those implicated in State Capture.
Batohi concedes the NPA is yet to successfully prosecute a high profile corruption case:
“For the next six months, to a year we certainly won’t finish all the cases, but we are focussing on cases in the Zondo Commission and other cases relating to grand corruption,” says Batohi.
She says state capture has had a devastating effect on service delivery and has severely impacted the poor.
Batohi says, “The impact of state capture on our country has been extremely severe and the economic cost has been estimated to be about R 1.5 trillion and this is almost the equivalent of government’s annual expenditure so it is an insane amount of money and the impact of this on service delivery, which disproportionately affects the poor and the vulnerable is devastating.”
The annual honorary lecture aims to create a platform for students, leaders, academics and the broader international community, to engage critically on current South African political and governance issues.
While also honouring the legacy of the late Slabbert who died in 2010 at the age of 70.