NUPSAW CONDEMNS NATIONAL PROSECUTING AUTHORITY (NPA) FOR DISCRIMINATION AGAINST BLACK PROSECUTORS
The National Union of Public Service and Allied Workers (NUPSAW) is extremely concerned that the NPA has aimed to ignore the cries of prosecutors within its offices in the Eastern Cape. The NPA plays a critical role in ensuring that criminals of crime are charged and held responsible for their criminal actions. The Constitution makes it essential that the NPA performs that critical role and function independently without fear, favour or prejudice anything less would weaken the rule of law and hinder the nation’s constitutional goals. The state must protect South Africans against crime but fails time and time again. It is highly concerning and creates the perception that lawbreakers can do as they please without any consequences.
Black prosecutors in the Eastern Cape, exhausted of the wrongdoings happening under the NPA are demanding the President and the Justice Portfolio Committee to command the National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) Advocate Shamila Batohi to improve her office, including managers that have for years abused black prosecutors. Black prosecutors continue to live in fear in their own country, these prosecutors worked hard for a better education and empowering themselves however remain victimised, exploited, mistreated for being black.
Our members at the NPA are tired with the level of intolerance and hostility measures imposed unto them by the NPA. This is extremely pressing for black prosecutors since they expected to feel guilty for being black. Workers state that they had great expectations when Batohi was appointed, but she resumed with the same NPA standard of crushing black prosecutor’s professions. Prosecutors have raised concerns about these matter of racism, nepotism and favouritism at the NPA, however, emptiness has been presented and black prosecutors get suspended for fighting for their rights. The prosecutors had a meeting with Batoni concerning their grievances on the 19 March again on 15 November 2019 furthermore promised to attend to those matters.
This is with great disappointment that till today, black prosecutors at the NPA remain to be declined over higher positions and favoured races fill those positions. The favoured white and Indian prosecutors remain for only two or three years within District Court and then proceed directly to the Regional Court or High Court while black prosecutors are assigned to fill more than a decade in District Court. Senior managers of the specific races are immune from investigation and prosecution at the NPA, we are raising this based on the following:
- In Eastern Cape NPA, the deputy Director, Indra Goberdan has withdrawn many cases of favoured races, which is strange as she has proceeded with the same offence with similar merits on cases involving black people. Her son also has a number of cases amounting to assault, reckless and negligent driving involving hit and run on the victim who suffered severe injuries but those cases are not placed on the court roll and when South African Police Services (SAPS) in King William Town are not providing reasonable answers to prosecutors as to why that matter was not place, they also could not provide the whereabouts of that police docket.
- Mitchelsplein magistrate court in Western Cape a prosecutor of a coloured race resigned in 2008 but now has been appointed for a regional court post for a court that is still to be created and is getting paid for 3 months now for doing nothing.
- We have a Cluster Chief in Queenstown who has a Personal Assistant based in Queenstown Magistrate court, while she is supposed to work in Graaffeinet. She is allowed to work from Queenstown due to being the wife of the Senior Public Prosecutor at the Magistrate Court there and NPA continues to pay interns and PA’s for her, misusing funds knowing the real PA is in Queenstown. A junior prosecutor, Mr Sinclair from Queenstown was given preference to act alone in Regional and High Court and now has been appointed as the state advocate in Bisho.
- Althea Rhodes coloured woman from East London is a Senior Public Prosecutor, who has never prosecuted a case in her life but she now does not want independent and vocally honest prosecutors at the East London Magistrate Court preferring only to take prosecutors outside East London since early 2000 till to date.
- Zwelitsha prosecutor, Ms Chetty was assumed to work in Peddie (Amathole district) she rejected to work there declaring religious beliefs and Khotso Seitlheiko was ordered to go in her place. Question remains does Mr Seitlheiko not own religious beliefs as Ms Chetty? This shows favoured prosecutors are ruling NPA.
- Another case is the one regarding Anthony Bean who defrauded NPA 1 million from 2016 to 2018 his case was reported on daily dispatch NPA did nothing about his case instead Indra Goberdan and Marius Stander defended Anthony Bean till to date as he is the preferred race. Marius Stander defended Bean in his disciplinary hearing and it vanished without any evidence led without calling any witness. Bean is signing dismissal letter for public prosecutors but he is a clerk.
- In October 2019 Mr Sam (Indian Chief Prosecutor) in East London cluster began biases between a white prosecutor and a black prosecutor claiming that black prosecutors in a rural town would never accomplish anything as they do not work as hard as white colleagues. When we work to show we are competent like Indian manager’s he easily compares us to whites that are get swamped with the workload.
- During September 2019, Mr Sam insulted the same black prosecutor at a rural town stating that his family is corrupt and that he is stupid. It did not end there, he further went to the office of that prosecutor at Magistrate and told him that that prosecutor is corrupt and the Magistrate must investigate him for stealing traffic ticket monies. Strange how this is a professional organization yet the head in a cluster is so unprofessional, the Magistrate was so disgusted at the level of resentment this Indian man has for black aspiring prosecutors.
- Even though Batohi warned managers under investigation for racism not to victimize whistleblowers, Mr Sam is still after the prosecutor. He has requested investigating officers to help him to investigate the young black prosecutor as he wants to charge and have him fired from the NPA. These officers are colleagues of the said prosecutor and went on to tell the said prosecutor how they don’t like what is being done by Mr Sam for they have high regard for the prosecutor whose cases always have sentences of 20 years. Why is Mr Sam extremely questionable of the prosecutor and never said anything nice when he arrived four years ago?
- On the other hand, Mr Sam is committed to promoting his Indian friend that started with the young prosecutor, for a position in management. Reality is black prosecutors are always put in their place and caused to believe they cannot compete yet preferred prosecutors do not want to get their hands in the mud by attending rural courts. When black prosecutors do not side with the majority prosecutors they are then bound to be investigated to a point where one suffers from depression, stress and some hit the bottle hard.
All the Deputy Public Prosecutors offices the preferred cultural groups are ruling and black advocates are undermined. Is this the kind of National Prosecuting organisation that we need in a democratic South Africa following everything our befallen black heroes fought for, is that what we want to see?
NUPSAW strongly condemns the behaviour of the National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) or any prosecutors under the NPA for their deafened ears towards the cries of the black prosecutors. NPA is assumed to be a law-abiding organisation but it continues to be managed by mafias who hold their evil agenda. This needs to stop, the work ethic of the NPA is a disgrace.
NUPSAW demands that all those implicated in state capture to be relieved of their duties with immediate effect and be investigated for possible prosecution. We further demand the President and Justice Portfolio Committee to intervene by saving the NPA from being managed by people who do not respect the Constitution while disregarding the human rights of employees. We cannot have every office of the National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) managed by the same favoured prosecutors and black advocates treated like small kids.
We will do everything in our power to ensure that those involved in unlawful activities at NPA will be exposed and dealt with decisively.
For more information:
NUPSAW Media Officer
083 712 1614