The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) head Shamila Batohi, says young people need to be brought in to help bolster the criminal justice system, including organisations like the prosecutions body.
Speaking at the annual Kader Asmal Human Rights Lecture in Sandton, Johannesburg, Batohi says young people are needed to make the justice system more functional.
“There’s something, there’s no innovation in this system, and that is why I say we need young people now to come up with new ideas about how we can start making the criminal justice system more effective,” expressed Batohi.
Shamila Batohi says civil society has played a central role in litigation that has held authorities to account and has protected the country’s young democracy. She emphasised that civil society must also hold the NPA to account and make sure it properly does its job.
The National Director of Public Prosecutions says that they are currently working on developing additional strategies to improve the performance of the NPA.
Batohi says that the performance of the NPA is good. “If you look at conviction rates, the prosecution is about 80%, 70% in the regional courts and almost 90% in the high courts,” expressed Batohi.
However, she says that, despite the good performance, there is little impact on crime.
“So we have to rethink; how to we measure ourselves so that we know we are making an impact on crime?”
Batohi says that she has talked to the National Commissioner, Khehla Sitole, to look at joint measures with the police in addressing crime.
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