Women Minister Bathabile Dlamini has congratulated Advocate Shamila Batohi on her appointment as National Director of Public Prosecutions, saying it gives hope for the fight against gender-based violence.
Batohi, the first woman hold the position, was on Tuesday appointed by President Cyril Ramaphosa and will commence her role in February after serving her notice as Senior Legal Advisor at the International Criminal Court (ICC)
"The Minister wishes to applaud Advocate Batohi on her impeccable credentials and believes that her appointment will ensure the advancement of all national efforts in the pursuit of justice for all, and in particular, women," the department said in a statement.
Dlamini hailed the appointment as a watershed moment for women.
"Advocate Batohi's appointment cannot be overstated, especially as it occurs during the 16 Days of Activism campaign when women are pleading with society to #HearMeToo against all forms of gender-based violence (GBV).
"A critical inhibiting factor to ending GBV is secondary victimisation and trauma through insensitive courtroom examination techniques that aim to destabilise survivors at the expense of justice," the department said.
The Minister is of the belief that under Batohi's leadership, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) will be more sensitive to the bravery displayed by survivors in stepping forward and reporting Gender-Based Violence.
"The Minister and the department implores Advocate Batohi to fulfil the mission of the NPA by ensuring justice for the victims of GBV by prosecuting without fear and favour, while at all times respecting the dignity of those who are brave enough to speak out," the department said.
Dlamini urged other women to avail themselves for senior positions in government as well as the private sector.
"We call on all women of South Africa to support Advocate Batohi," Dlamini said.