Shamila Bitohi. Picture: FREDDY MAVUNDA
Shamila Bitohi. Picture: FREDDY MAVUNDA

It is appropriate that the national director of public prosecutions, Shamila Batohi, had the good grace to blush when questioned during her “Woman’s Day webinar” about her year of passivity in the face of the damning De Kock report of June 2019.

In the report, two current senior prosecutors were clearly exposed as criminals; “saboteurs” involved in the conspiracy to spike the guns of Johan Booysen, retired head of the Hawks in KwaZulu-Natal. This high-level malfeasance was perpetrated to protect friends of Jacob Zuma involved in the criminality of state capture.

The excuse proffered by a blushing Batohi for doing nothing about it for more than a year is that the National Prosecutions Authority (NPA) is awaiting the report of the Zondo commission. What nonsense! De Kock has unearthed ample evidence justifying criminal charges or disciplinary proceedings and the Zondo records are open to the NPA. Zondo’s findings and recommendations will bind no-one, least of all the crooks involved. Remember how Nomgcobo Jiba and Lawrence Mwrebi contested the adverse finding of the Mokgoro inquiry?

It is notorious that commissions of inquiry are used by the executive branch of government to “park” political hot potatoes. It does not behove the NPA to follow suit. The Nel commission’s report appeared ages after the Masterbond skelms under investigation by it were successfully prosecuted by an attorney-general with a fine-tuned understanding of the efficiency and independence requirements of the onerous job currently held by Batohi.

She must either face an inquiry into her fitness for office or fall on her sword if she is still not prepared to become involved in the initiation of disciplinary proceedings against the colleagues she is currently sheltering in her North West province offices, with full knowledge of their cogently alleged crookedness.

Paul Hoffman, SC
Accountability Now

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