Free State Anti-Corruption & Commercial Crime Indaba

The NPA’s Free State Division hosted an anti-corruption and commercial crime indaba, that was held at Bloem Spa for two days on 16-17 May 2022. The event was attended by various stakeholders in the criminal justice cluster, including the South African Police Service (SAPS), Directorate for Priority Crime Investigations (DPCI), South African Revenue Service (SARS), Special Investigating Unit (SIU).

Different presentations were made by various speakers on how to improve the efficiency and collaborations, boost the relations to fight corruption and to improve investor confidence.  

Major-General Baile Motswenyane - (Free State Provincial Commissioner SAPS)

“The indaba came at a time we needed it the most because of corrupt activities that are taking place in our country. More than ever in the history of our democracy, we need to work together. I promise Adv. Navilla Somaru that in your six-month priority plans, the SAPS and the DPCI will be working together with you because you cannot do it alone.

Investigators and prosecutors working on corruption cases must know that once they start closing the taps of those corrupt individuals, they are going to be insulted and harassed, but they must stay focused on their work because they are not here to be liked, but to do good to the people of South Africa. For us to fight the enemy, we need to move as one”.

Major-General Mokgadi Bokaba - (Provincial Head of DPCI)

“I have been here for just seven weeks, but have seen that the law enforcement agencies in the Free State believe in forging co-operation and holding each other accountable, and that is what is going to make us a winning team. Our mandate as DPCI is derived from the SAPS Act, and it is to combat and investigate national priority crimes.

We are together in the fight against crime because if we are not united we will not be able to deal with even the simplest crimes. We have to forge good relations and show our people that crime does not pay.”

Adv. Lebo Baloyi - (Special Director of Public Prosecutions: SCCU)

“We must commend the organisers of this event, for coming up with such a brilliant initiative, because there is no denying that corruption in the country has become endemic. The Free State leadership of the NPA has seen it fit to reposition themselves, to ensure that they deal with corruption effectively. There is also a six-month priority implementation plan that aims to restore the NPA’s credibility by addressing corruption.

The SCCU at the national office will assist in dealing with blockages to ensure that cases are investigated and prosecuted as soon as possible. The collaborative effort in dealing with priority corruption cases is also applied in the Anti-Corruption Task Team (ATCC) and this is a collaborative approach by multiple stakeholders to investigate and monitor progress on high-profile cases.

SCCU is in the process of rolling out skills mentoring for prosecutors. This will be a short-term targeted mentoring initiative focusing on less experienced prosecutors who are working on commercial crime cases. The Free State has a brilliant initiative of setting up teams in the clusters whose mandate is to fast-track the investigation and prosecutions of corruption cases. I want to commend colleagues in the Free State for this excellent initiative and I am anticipating better performance from this province.”

Adv. Andrea Johnson - (Head: Investigating Directorate) 

“We must leave a legacy for our grandchildren because where we are currently, no matter how much we address corruption, it seems like we are unfortunately not going to be able to get right down to the bottom of it.

The most important word for a prosecutor dealing with corruption is “but for”.

But for the actions of Johnson, would that have happened? But for the inaction of Johnson, would that have happened? But for the action of the inaction of Johnson, would that consequence, intended or unintended, have happened?

For you and your teams, but for should be your bread and butter. You must make sure that those are the questions you ask because those are the questions that will set you apart from being just an ordinary prosecutor.

Sometimes we want to look for what we see as textbook corruption and when we don’t see it we want to issue nolle prosequi certificates. Please, you must not nolle.

The NDPP has said many times, that the NPA staff must live IPAC values and what it means is, for you, who will be dealing with corruption cases, from here, Integrity, Professionalism, Accountability and Credibility must be your way of life. These values will set you head and shoulders above the rest of your colleagues because without them you are doomed to fail.

All those prosecutors doing high-profile cases did not start at the top, but they built their names by being thorough and making sure that every single case they took, matters. The required passion must be exhibited in the work you do.

I have not had a chance to celebrate my appointment because I had to hit the ground running and I have no excuse because I had to buy into the NPA’s six-month priority implementation plan for corruption. I have no excuse for non-delivery, so please colleagues, don’t feel daunted; know that you are not alone in the fight against corruption. It is not an easy task but it’s a fight I am confident that we will win. Let me leave you with an understanding that the fight against corruption starts with every one of you in this room and all of your colleagues who unfortunately could not be here. It is your duty to your family, to your office, to the Constitution and to the people of the Republic of South Africa to carry your duty with pride.”

Adv. Rodney De Kock - (Deputy National Director of Public Prosecutions)

“We are happy to see this collaborative effort in the province because the key to fighting crime, especially corruption is collaboration and that collaboration demands the whole society to have a partnership. The partnership between the NPA and SAPS is a spear of collaboration because what we do is in the coal face of society. We must also form excellent partnerships with the NGOs and civil society groups because they will assist us in fighting crime.

We must always do our work with integrity and make sure that we ‘walk the talk’ in the fight against corruption. Of course, the very same people who complain of corruption, are sometimes the ones who engage in corruption when temptation arises because there could be no corruption unless two people are willing to participate in the act.”        



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