Investigating Directorate Director Hermione Cronje with NDPP Shamila Batohi at a media briefing introducing Cronje. Photo: Ntswe Mokoena/GCIS.

PRETORIA - Prosecutions boss Shamila Batohi on Friday said budgetary constraints have left the prosecuting authority under severe pressure and caused low staff morale.

Batohi, who took up the position of National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) on February 1, said the prosecuting authority has not been able to recruit more staff to its ranks since 2016 as a result of the financial pressure.

Batohi said this has affected the morale of prosecutors and led to some cases being neglected.

"We won't be able to deliver the service people expect if this situation persists," Batohi told a media briefing on Friday, where she introduced Hermione Cronje, who will head up the NPA's Investigating Directorate.

Batohi said she had not anticipated some of the problems and was dismayed at the state of the NPA.

"I didn't quite appreciate the depth and extent of the challenges that I would be facing in trying to revitalise the NPA, both internally and externally,"

She said one of the challenges she encountered was leadership crisis at the NPA and added that the organisation needed fresh and new leadership.

She also highlighted what she said was a lack of budget for the prosecuting authority, describing this as a serious problem given the endemic levels of corruption. 

"It is hugely important that we recapacitate the NPA. We need to access more money for the NPA.

"Those who wanted to fight the good fight had a really difficult time. I'm looking at some of the decisions and thinking how could we have taken these decisions. In many ways we failed the people of SA. It was very disappointing," she said.

Both Batohi and Cronje have made it clear that they are going after those who have weakened and undermined the criminal justice system.

African News Agency (ANA)