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Public Interest SA Expresses Grave Concerns Over Eroding Public Trust in the Criminal Justice System



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


PUBLIC INTEREST SA EXPRESSES GRAVE CONCERNS OVER ERODING PUBLIC TRUST IN THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM


Johannesburg, South Africa, Sunday, 26 November 2023 – Public Interest SA voices its deep apprehension regarding the alarming erosion of public trust in the criminal justice system. Recent events, including the removal of the case involving disgraced former Eskom interim CEO Matshela Koko and others from the court roll, have raised serious concerns about the state of readiness of the Directorate Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI aka “the Hawks”) to properly investigate, on the one hand, and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) to successfully prosecute, on the other hand, high-profile state capture-related corruption cases.


The removal of the aforementioned case from the Mpumalanga Magistrates court roll has brought to light the challenges and deficiencies within the NPA and the Hawks, highlighting potential obstacles in the pursuit of justice in cases of significant public interest. Public Interest SA emphasises the need for a robust and efficient criminal justice system to address corruption and improprieties at all levels and restore public faith in the institutions responsible for upholding the rule of law.


Additionally, the prolonged delays in cases such as the assassination of former Mbombela municipality speaker and whistleblower Jimmy Mohlala including the Mbombela stadium tender corruption matter involving Lefika Emerging Equity, its directors and others further contribute to the growing scepticism surrounding the efficacy of public prosecution. The reported release of suspects due to poor police evidence in Mohlala's case and the conflicting reports surrounding the stadium tender corruption case underscore the challenges faced by the justice system.


Lest we forget, the mere publication of the State Capture Commission Report neither invalidated nor eradicated the presence of state capture actors and facilitators entrenched within the state, particularly within the criminal justice system.


“We have taken proactive steps to address these concerns and ensure that these longstanding criminal matters are prosecuted by officially reaching out to the respective heads of the NPA and the Hawks. We have written letters seeking clarity and updates in relation to the Mohlala assassination and Mbombela stadium fraud and corruption matters. This demonstrates our commitment to engaging with key stakeholders to ensure transparency and accountability in these crucial cases. Government must ensure that the NPA and Hawks receive the requisite funding and resources to ensure that cases are properly and expeditiously investigated and prosecuted,” says Tebogo Khaas, Public Interest SA chairperson.


Public Interest SA remains committed to advocating for transparency, accountability, and ethical governance. It calls for a comprehensive review of the processes within the criminal justice system to address systemic issues and ensure that justice is served promptly and effectively.



ABOUT PUBLIC INTEREST SA

Public Interest SA is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting transparency, accountability, and ethical governance. With a focus on social justice and the well-being of communities, the organization actively engages in advocacy to ensure a fair and just society for all.


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