The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has managed to secure a 98% conviction rate for cyber-crimes. This is according to its annual report for 2019/2020.
It describes cyber-crime as well as environmental crimes as growing international phenomena.
Environmental crimes, like rhino poaching, are linked to transnational organised crime. In this crime category, prosecutors managed a 97% conviction rate.
Performance in courts
Meanwhile, looking at the breakdown of the NPA performance in courts, 860 cases have been finalised at High Courts around the country. This drop from 2019 is due to the high vacancy rate the authority had experienced.
In regional courts, it fared a bit better, with an 82% conviction rate while in district courts, which carry 93% of all crimes dealt with; more than 339 matters were finalised.
MPs are yet to interrogate this annual report and make comparisons with the NPA’s performance in previous years, but the authority believes it has been making inroads with its current turnaround strategy.
“The turnaround strategy of the NPA is proceeding very well. The number of areas that the NPA is looking at, with regards to professionalism, independence, but also to make sure that there is high productivity. There is no doubt about the fact that COVID-19 was a disruptor, but we are continuing and I think the efforts to make sure that the NPA becomes professional and deals with the number of challenges that it faces, so that’s ongoing work,” NPA Spokesperson Sipho Ngwema said.
Advocate Shamila Batohi says the NPA is working hard to fix the broken criminal justice system:
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