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Prosecutors accuse NPA of racism, discrimination

The national prosecutors under the National Union of Public Service and Allied Workers picket outside the NPA offices to complain about failure by management to meet with their union and discuss allegations of racism and discrimination within the institution.Picture: Thobile Mathonsi/African News Agency (ANA)

The national prosecutors under the National Union of Public Service and Allied Workers picket outside the NPA offices to complain about failure by management to meet with their union and discuss allegations of racism and discrimination within the institution.Picture: Thobile Mathonsi/African News Agency (ANA)

Published Mar 19, 2021

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Pretoria – A handful of state prosecutors took to the streets of Pretoria accusing the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) of racism and discrimination within the institution.

The disgruntled prosecutors carried placards expressing grievances, picketing outside the NPA head office, they were heard shouting 'enough is enough!'

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Grievances contained in the memorandum include racism, failure to increase salaries and nepotism among others.

This picket comes after NPA management failed to meet with the National Prosecutors under the National Union of Public Service and Allied Workers (NUPSAW) last week Friday, to discuss the allegations.

The union said it submitted its intention to picket on March 12 and on their arrival, the gates were locked. Again on Friday, the gates were locked, security personnel were seen just looking at them.

"We are here at NPA headquarters today to submit a memorandum of grievances in relation to racism, nepotism, favouritism on black prosecutors. Black prosecutors are exploited within the NPA in terms of promotion," said the union's national organiser, Solly Malema.

"White counterparts are promoted within a short period of time, while black prosecutors are not getting the same treatment. White prosecutors are not deployed in rural areas, while black ones are," said Malema.

He added that when black prosecutors speak against racism, they either get suspended or dismissed by the NPA.

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By 1PM, no one from the NPA had received the memorandum from the disgruntled prosecutors.

An advocate from the Eastern Cape was also part of the picket, expressed that he condemned corrupt prosecutors even though they might be underpaid.

“There is no excuse for any form of corruption. I am aware that some of our colleagues have been found to be taking as little as R500 bribes. We are anti-corruption, anyone who is found on the wrong side of the law must be prosecuted and sent to jail because we are representing innocent members of the public,” he said.

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The advocate said there are people ranging between 40 to 46-years-old who are still in the same position which is the entry-level district court prosecutor.

He also echoed what Malema said about white counterparts being preferred over black prosecutors.

NPA spokesperson Sipho Ngwema was not available for comment.

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