Advocate Rodney de Kock before his interview for the position of National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) at the Union Buildings in Pretoria. Picture: Jacques Naude/African News Agency (ANA)

Pretoria - Aspiring National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP), Western Cape's Director of Public Prosecutions Rodney de Kock, on Thursday said he has a master plan to restore the public's faith in the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).

"I think the most important issue is that we need to lead by example. In all the values, the question of leadership becomes important. Leading by example is important in terms of the NPA values. Professionalism is something very close to my heart, it's how we go around doing our business," De Kock addressed an eight-member advisory panel led by Energy Minister Jeff Radebe at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.

"My approach is that all those people we lead in our institution, we lead as a collective. I empower everybody, so when I'm not there, anyone can step into the bridge. This is the culture of professionalism, and everything flows from that. Credibility flows from that."

De Kock said he was "very firm" regarding the need for professionalism among his staff in the Western Cape.

"One of the things I emphasise is the question of reputation and professionalism. I often say to them, when you are in court, it's your own reputation that's at risk. You can't hide behind the DPP or the NPA. You stand next to the victims of crime, within your own right. In a nutshell, that is how I try to instil values - by leading by example," said De Kock.

The DPP was then asked to explain how he plans to deal with problems bedeviling the NPA at a national level - if he gets appointed by President Cyril Ramaphosa to the influential post.

De Kock responded: "At a personal level, I have never shied away from challenges and I think because of my commitment to the country, my commitment as a lawyer, for the love of practising law, and my commitment to prosecution - that is what drives me. We all need to put our shoulders to the wheel to make our systems work better, to make our country successful. Should I be appointed, I look forward to the opportunity in that context. I know that I can make a difference".

The interviews, in search of South Africa's top prosecutor, are set to run for three days, until Friday.

The panel, chaired by Radebe, was requested to identify potential candidates, establish that they meet the required criteria, conduct interviews with potential candidates, and recommend at least three candidates to the president.

Two other candidates, Advocate Moipone Noko - Director of Public Prosecutions in KwaZulu-Natal and former magistrate-turned-advocate Naomi Manaka - were also scheduled to be interviewed for the top job on Thursday.

African News Agency (ANA)