Cape Town - Advocate Shamila Batohi officially starts her job as South Africa's new National Director of Public Prosecutions today, and boy, does she have her work cut out for her. The first woman to hold this position, Batohi has her work cut out for her.
The ongoing commission of inquiry into state capture has opened a hornet's nest and the NDPP will have her hands full deciding which of the high profile names mentioned there has a case to answer.
Batohi will also have to deal with the fallout from the Mokgoro inquiry into the fitness of Ngcombo Jiba, the national deputy director of public prosecutions and Lawrence Mrwebi, the special director of public prosecutions, to hold office. Both have been suspended pending the outcome of the inquiry.
Days after Batohi's appointment in December last year it was also announced that the NPA would charge former ANC Western Cape chairperson Marius Fransman with sexual assault. The charges relate to an incident in January 2016 when Fransman attended the ANC's birthday celebrations in Rustenburg with a junior staff member, Louisa Wynand. According to Wynand's complaint, she was forced to sleep next to Fransman when they spent the night at a Kimberley hotel. He is also accused of touching her inappropriately while travelling to the event.
Batohi is not new to the leadership of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA). She served as the director of public prosecutions in KwaZulu-Natal - a position she held from 2002 to 2009.
As such, she is more than adequately equipped to weather the storm that comes with heading up the NPA and South Africans are hopeful that she will help restore public confidence in the organisation.