Tuesday, 15 October 2019 21:52

The national director of public prosecutions told parliament that the conviction rate in courts is shockingly low compared with the number of reported criminal cases.

Batohi took up her post in February, replacing former NDPP Shaun Abrahams, and she briefed the justice and correctional services portfolio committee on the NPA’s 2018/2019 annual report to end-March.

She told MPs the conviction rate compared with the number of reported cases is about 10%, and even that could be a “generous” estimate. 

In 2018 the number of cases coming to court declined while crime increased. There was a high conviction rate of cases that did get to court.

Batohi said the probe into Steinhoff, which was hit by allegations of accounting irregularities, is a key investigation for the Hawks and prosecutors who are working closely together in a joint team.

The team has made proposals about action that could be taken in the short term and these will be evaluated by a review team.

MPs were concerned about the many vacancies in the NPA,She said the recruitment of prosecutors has begun and this has boosted morale tremendously.

Batohi noted that budgetary constraints resulted in vacant posts not being filled.