'A formidable team of women now in charge of NPA'

The presidency announced on Friday that Cape Town advocate Hermione Cronje has been appointed to head up the Investigating Directorate in the Office of the National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP).

President Cyril Ramaphosa created the new unit to chiefly investigate cases of corruption and fraud exposed by the various commissions of enquiry into state capture.

Read: 'State capture and corruption remain to be the cancer that needs to be removed'

On Weekend Breakfast, Africa Melane speaks to journalist and author of "Ministry of Crime", Mandy Wiener about Cronje's appointment.

We have been hearing that she was involved for about the past two months or so. She was brought in on secondment by Shamila Batohi (Director of Public Prosecutions).

Mandy Wiener, Journalist and author of Ministry of Crime

She set up the groundwork and the framework for this investigating directorate.

Mandy Wiener, Journalist and author of Ministry of Crime

Wiener believes the appointment is to be celebrated as Cronje has the required background and experience.

She's been around for a long time. She was at the Asset Forfeiture Unit for about 12 years under Willie Hofmeyer... at a time when the unit was really quite formidable... she is quite highly regarded.

Mandy Wiener, Journalist and author of Ministry of Crime

She's also done a lot of work since she went to the bar in 2012 with the World Bank and with the United Nations and she is seen as an international expert on anti-corruption.

Mandy Wiener, Journalist and author of Ministry of Crime

Wiener doesn't agree with the view that the new unit is a reincarnation of the Scorpions.

She notes that the laws necessary to bring down crimes of corruption are already in place and while the unit will be looking at crimes like dishonesty and fraud it will specifically target those high-profile instances linked to state capture.

This investigating directorate has been set up to look at largely corruption crimes like the crimes that come out of the Zondo Commission or the Mpati Commission or the Nugent (Commission of) Inquiry - those kind of high-profile cases.

Mandy Wiener, Journalist and author of Ministry of Crime

Wiener says it's important that Hermione Cronje has a strong relationship with the national police commissioner.

One of her primary functions will be working with the Hawks and the police.

Mandy Wiener, Journalist and author of Ministry of Crime

The journalist says people have been very patient, but now that the NPA has the right people in place they want to see prosecutions, as well as convictions.

Now we are ready to let the system work. The right people are in place.

Mandy Wiener, Journalist and author of Ministry of Crime

It's a pretty formidable team of women that's now in charge of the NPA.

Mandy Wiener, Journalist and author of Ministry of Crime

For more from Wiener, take a listen:


This article first appeared on CapeTalk : 'A formidable team of women now in charge of NPA'


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