South Africa: Minister Ronald Lamola tables National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) Amendment Bill for anti-corruption efforts
The Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, Ronald Lamola (MP), has tabled the National Prosecuting Authority Amendment Bill in parliament after receiving approval from the cabinet on 14 August 2023. The bill was approved subject to a technical amendment on other ad hoc investigative directorates in the future, in line with the cabinet's direction.
President Ramaphosa's pronouncement in the State of the Nation Address will be realized once the parliament passes the amendment, making the Investigative Directorate Against Corruption a permanent feature of our anti-corruption law enforcement efforts. This move is aimed at ensuring the effective implementation of the recommendations of the State Capture Commission.
The Investigative Directorate Against Corruption investigates corruption-related crimes uncovered by the commission and the commissions of the South African Revenue Service and Public Investment Corporation.
Adopting a prosecution-led investigation model is the most effective way to prosecute crimes like corruption, as demonstrated by international best practices. This bill will allow the NPA to apply the experience gained from South Africa's efforts to tackle high-level corruption, said Lamola.
The bill is a significant step towards enhancing the NPA's independence and ability to prosecute high-level crimes. It creates a specialized entity within the NPA, staffed with trained individuals who enjoy the requisite level of independence, resources, and security of tenure to tackle corruption head-on.
Over the last four years, the Investigative Directorate against corruption has enrolled 34 matters, with 203 accused. During the 2022-23 financial year, it enrolled 18 new matters and authorized 13 new investigations, totalling 97 matters authorized over the previous four years. The Directorate has also contributed significantly to the recovery of R2.5 billion, which was paid into the Criminal Asset Recovery Account.
Overall, this bill is a crucial step in strengthening South Africa's anti-corruption efforts and ensuring that those who engage in corrupt practices are held accountable for their actions.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Republic of South Africa: Department of Justice and Constitutional Development.