- Section 179 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 (Act No. 108 of 1996), created a single National Prosecution Authority (NPA).
- The Office of the National Director of Public Prosecutions, was established on 1 August 1998, in terms of section 179 (1) of the Constitution. The NPA comprises the National Director, who is the head of the Office and manages the Office; Directors of Public Prosecutions; Special Directors and other members of the prosecuting authority appointed at or assigned to the Office; and members of the administrative staff at the Office.
- The National Prosecuting Authority has the power to:
- Institute and conduct criminal proceedings on behalf of the State.
- Carry out any necessary functions incidental to instituting and conducting such criminal proceedings (this includes investigation).
- Discontinue criminal proceedings.