The Ad Hoc Committee on section 100 Intervention in the North West province has requested more information from law enforcement agencies about the work they are doing which is linked to the intervention in the province.
In a statement on Tuesday, Ad Hoc Committee Chairperson China Dodovu said the committee is of the view that the information provided by the National Prosecuting Authority, Special Investigating Unit and the Directorate for Priority Crimes Investigation (DPCI) needs to be augmented to enable the committee to effectively carry out its mandate of oversight.
“The foremost concern for the committee has been the slow pace of prosecution by law enforcement agencies against people identified by various reports, including the Auditor-General report into the financial management within the province and the diagnostic report that necessitated the intervention,” Dodovu said.
The committee also raised concerns over cases the agencies reported, that focused more on municipalities and less on departments that have been put under administration.
The committee further raised concerns about the capacity within the law enforcement agencies to enable them to conclude cases through the criminal justice value chain, from reporting a case to its successful prosecution.
“Although the committee had a meeting with the law enforcement agencies on Monday 22 February 2021, it is of the view that it requires more information from the agencies to have a clearer picture of consequence management in the North West Province. To that end, it has scheduled two more interactions with the law enforcement agencies to create enough time to interact with their reports,” Dodovu said.
He said that the committee has resolved to send specific questions to individual agencies in order to guide their collective interactions.
Strengthening law enforcement capacity
The committee has recommended that the capacity of law enforcement agencies that are dealing with the North West matter to be strengthened to fast-track investigation and prosecution of cases.
It also requested information on the cases that have been withdrawn and reasons for their withdrawal.
More needs to be done to accelerate legal process
In addition to its concerns, the committee has also noted that the criminal justice value chain process is often protracted and that may take a number of years to conclude.
The chairperson said the committee is of the view that more needs to be done to accelerate the legal process to ensure that justice is served and is seen to be served.
In spite of all this, Dodovu said the committee is cognisant that the law enforcement agencies are independent and are created according to laws.
“We continue to respect the independent nature of our law enforcement agencies, but at the centre of our preoccupation is to ensure that consequence management is implemented against perpetrators of malfeasance,” Dodovu said.