Indian-origin Lawyer Appointed Head of South Africa’s National Prosecuting Authority

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the appointment of Shamila Batohi, during an address at the Union Buildings.


An Indian-origin lawyer has been appointed as the National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP), a statutory body that investigates high-level criminal matters in the country.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa announced the appointment of Shamila Batohi, during an address at the government headquarters, the Union Buildings.

Batohi shot to fame as the evidence leader during the King Commission that probed the Hansie Cronje match-fixing saga of 2000. She was selected from a shortlist of 11 candidates who were interviewed for the high-profile position, Indian news agency PTI reported.

She will begin in her new role February 2019 and will replace previous prosecutor, Shaun Abrahams who has been accused by the opposition and rights groups of shielding former president Jacob Zuma from corruption charges during his nine years in office, PTI reported.

Batohi started her public service as a junior prosecutor in 1986 at the Chatsworth magistrates’ court and moved through the ranks to become the Director of Public Prosecutions in KwaZulu Natal.

According to PTI, Batohi was seconded to the Investigation Task Unit established by President Nelson Mandela in 1995 and later served as the first regional head of the Directorate of Special Operations based in KwaZulu-Natal.

Over the last nine years, she has worked as a legal adviser to the prosecutor in the International Criminal Court in The Hague.

On appointing Batohi, president Ramaphosa Ramaphosa said that he was addressing the state of dysfunctionality and deficiencies in the NDPP that had been identified by the Constitutional Court.

“The President, and by proxy the people (of South Africa) have bestowed a lot of confidence in me,” Batohi said. “The least I can do is reciprocate that confidence.”

“My only obligation is to serve the country with humility and dedication to the best of my ability. Each one of us, no matter where we are, must be ready to sacrifice the necessary, to fight the good fight. Our country needs us,” Batohi said.

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