Monday, 06 December 2021

Pretoria: National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) Advocate Shamila Batohi has assured the nation that the authority is not in crisis following the resignation of the National Prosecuting Authority’s Investigative Directorate (ID) head, Advocate Hermione Cronje.

Media reports have suggested that Cronje’s resignation come off the back of alleged disagreements with Batohi, sabotage of the directorate and a reported lack of sufficient staff in the directorate Cronje was heading.

“To be clear, the NPA is not in a crisis and there is no widespread sabotage of the ID or any part of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) that is taking place. Advocate Cronje’s resignation…is the culmination of various factors…but there [is a] incorrect narrative in the media that it’s because of interpersonal relations between her and I which makes for dramatic reporting but that is where it ends,” Batohi said at a briefing on Monday.

The NDPP said disagreements and tensions in high-pressure environments are to be expected.

She said that the ID “remains under considerable pressure to perform”.

“The Investigating Director and the National Director need to be fully aligned on the overall strategy of the directorate, on the prosecuting strategy, the priorities and the case specific strategies and then act with razor sharp focus on these. We will never have all the resources that we need, but we need to prioritise for impact,” she said.

Advocate Batohi highlighted that tensions in leadership are “normal and healthy”.

“All organisations have staff turnover and our job is to ensure continuity of business towards the achievement of our goals. If we are not focussed on that or we cannot do that, then we are in a crisis. This is not the case.”

The advocate praised Cronje for “laying a good foundation” to take the ID forward into the next chapter with new cases ready to be enrolled.

“It’s a tough job in a tough environment. So it should not be a surprise or a concern that after this period, she has decided to move on.

“This is a kind of leadership transition that is normal. It is not a sign of crisis or collapse. It’s in fact good when leaders take an organisation as far as they can and they leave it to a new leader to take it forward with new energy – picking up on the good work that has already been done.” she said.