Advocate Shamila Batohi is the first woman to be appointed the National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP). Picture: Jacques Naude/African News Agency (ANA)

Johannesburg - Advocate Shamila Batohi is the first woman to be appointed the National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP). 

She starts her new role in February next year. 

President Cyril Ramaphosa made the announcement on Tuesday after a grilling process of interviews by an advisory panel. 

Batohi started her public service as a junior prosecutor in the Chatsworth Magistrates’ Court in 1986 and has served as the first regional head of the directorate of special operations based in KwaZulu-Natal. 

She 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. 

In 1995, she was appointed by former president Nelson Mandela to be part of the multi-disciplinary team mandated to investigate hit squad activities within the police service during apartheid. 

She was known for her high profile prosecution of former Proteas cricket captain Hansie Cronje in 2000 at the King Commission. 

Batohi is currently serving as a legal advisor senior at the International Criminal Court. 

She was a firm favourite during the interview process. 

Ramaphosa said he believes Batohi has what it takes to lead the NPA and grow its public trust. 

“As the NPA Act requires, she has the experience, conscientiousness and integrity to be entrusted with the responsibilities of this office. Despite the many challenges the NPA has faced in the past, we know that there are women and men of great ability, experience and commitment within the NPA who are dedicated to doing their job and doing it well,” she said. 

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