NPA unit head Hermione Cronje to lead state capture probes
Cape Town - President Cyril Ramaphosa has appointed one of the top prosecutors to lead a new investigating unit in the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) months after the unit was announced.
Ramaphosa had said the new unit would investigate cases of state capture, corruption, fraud and other complex financial matters.
On Friday, the president named Advocate Hermione Cronje to lead the new investigating unit.
The unit will be based in the office of the National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP), Shamila Batohi.
Batohi has appointed a team that is dealing with state capture matters and has asked Pretoria chief prosecutor Matric Luphondo to keep a watching brief at the Zondo Commission of Inquiry into State Capture.
In a statement on Friday, the Presidency said Cronje had extensive experience in the legal profession and has worked in various capacities in the NPA.
Ramaphosa’s spokesperson, Khusela Diko, said Cronje would lead the investigating unit for the next five years.
“The directorate will investigate any unlawful activities relating to serious, high-profile or complex corruption including but not limited to offences or criminal or unlawful activities arising from current commissions and inquiries,” she said.
The appointment of Cronje is the second senior appointment in the shake-up of the NPA since Batohi took over in February.
After taking over, Batohi appointed Willie Hofmeyr back to the Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) to lead it.
This was after Hofmeyr was removed by former NPA head Shaun Abrahams.
The Presidency said on Friday Cronje had worked in various areas in the NPA from 1998 to 2012.
She was a founding member of the AFU, an assistant to the first NDPP and regional head of the AFU in the Western Cape for 10 years.
Cronje was also involved in the establishment of the Anti-Corruption Task Team.
The task team comprises the security agencies: the departments of justice, police, state security and public service and administration.
It has investigated several cases worth billions of rand in contracts in departments and state-owned entities in the past few years.
The Presidency said Cronje would deal with a number of cases related to violations of various laws.
Ramaphosa had announced in his State of the Nation address early in the year that a new unit would be set up in the office of the NDPP.