A new investigative directorate, tasked specifically to probe state capture and associated offences, is on the cards for the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), President Cyril Ramaphosa has said in Cape Town.
Ramaphosa announced this during his second State of the Nation Address and the last of the fifth administration on Thursday night, 7 February 2019.
According to the president, the idea of the new directorate is borne from the issues emerging from the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture and other commissions also under way.
He described the submissions made at the commissions as “deeply disturbing”, adding that they “reveal a breadth and depth of criminal wrongdoing that challenges the very foundation of our democratic state”.
Ramaphosa said beyond the commissions, evidence of criminal activity must be tried in the courts. “While these commissions will in time make findings and recommendations in line with their mandates, evidence of criminal activity that emerges must be evaluated by the criminal justice system.
“Where there is a basis to prosecute, prosecutions must follow swiftly and stolen public funds must be recovered urgently”, he said.
To this end, Ramaphosa said he and the new National Director of Public Prosecutions Shamila Batohi, who took over the reins at the NPA on Friday, 1 February 2019, had agreed that there was an urgent need to establish the new directorate in accordance with Section 7 of the NPA Act.
“I will soon be promulgating a proclamation that will set out the specific terms of reference of the directorate”, the president said.