/ 11 November 2008

Prosectors to remain in the NPA

Prosecutors will remain with the National Prosecuting Authority, it said on Tuesday in answer to media reports that hundreds would be laid off.

Spokesperson Tlali Tlali said media reports that hundreds of prosecutors would be out of a job ”are inaccurate, mischievous and have no basis in fact”.

The media had attributed the information only to ”a source”, he said.

National Prosecutions Service head Sibongile Mzinyathi said: ”The NPA cannot afford to shed prosecutors when there is such a dire need for that skill in the criminal justice system.

”Such a move would have a detrimental impact on the functioning of our courts.”

The NPA believed the mistake could have arisen from a misunderstanding regarding the NPA chief financial officer’s official report at a recent directors of public prosecutions meeting.

The report projected an over-expenditure in the 2008 financial year’s personnel budget.

It was therefore decided that only critical vacancies would be advertised and filled.

The meeting decided that non-critical vacant positions would be considered ”unfunded” and there would be no attempt to fill them in 2008.

The decision would be reviewed following the new financial year’s allocated funding, Tlali said. – Sapa