South Africa: Come On NPA, Get Cracking


There is something truly surreal about almost daily disclosures of corrupt activity, most of which appear to be extremely plausible and in which no one is ever held to legal account.

The chief justice, in delivering his annual report, referred to the appropriate benchmarks for assessing the success of the work of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA). He observed that conviction rates were not the best measurement in that it was the courts and not the NPA that convicted. To assess the NPA on the convictions or acquittals in cases brought by that body was, in his view, a completely incorrect way to evaluate the efficacy of the prosecution service.

The remarks of the chief justice require careful scrutiny, particularly as the public is becoming increasingly anxious about the failure of the NPA to charge, let alone obtain convictions in any of the welter of cases brought to public attention over the past couple of years - the myriad Gupta cases, the cases involving Bosasa, Markus Jooste and the demise of Steinhoff, a series of carefully documented reports concerning the EFF, the collapse of VBS to name but a few.

More than nine months into her role as the head...

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