Parliament– The Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services today received a briefing from the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) on its annual report.
The committee Chairperson, MsMadipoaneRefiloeMoremadiMothapo said the NPA works hard under very difficult circumstances and should be commended for that. She also commended the NPA for successful cases like the Ahmed Timol inquests in the recent times.
The committee heard that the NPA has a vacancy rate of 19%, 1064 posts of which 615 are prosecutorial posts. Since the start of the current financial year up to September, the NPA lost 143 officials. During the 2017/18 financial year it lost 205 officials and in 2016/17 it lost 157. The committee noted the vacancy rate at NPA with concern.
The committee heard that the suspension of the Aspirant Prosecutor Programme has a huge impact on the sustainability of the NPA prosecutorial service delivery something which inadvertently contributes to absenteeism and on the cost of Employee Wellness Programme services.
MsMothapo, said this is a reason for grave concern as it burdens the current prosecutors even more. “We have noted further that the NPA also had to increase its spending on wellness programmes, which could be seen to have a direct link to overworked personnel” emphasisedMsMothapo.
The committee further heard that although NPA had a significant vacancy rate, at the same time it has a financial challenge in terms of appointing warm bodies. It has a total budget shortfall of R72.9 million for the 2018/19 financial year.
The committee expressed its satisfaction with the fact that the NPA had obtained 317 475 convictions amounting to 94,7%.
The committee also received an update on the “State of Capture” investigation, specifically about the Estina Dairy Farm in the Free State Province. The NPA indicated that it has requested assistance from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and India and in fast tracking those matters one or two prosecutors will be sent to the UAE. They are also in the process of compiling a forensic report as well as lifestyle audits.
Source: Parliament of the Republic of South Africa