Just three days on the job and Shamila Batohi is already at odds with the state. The new NPA head and Justice Minister Michael Masutha have reportedly been bumping heads of what prosecutors should be paid.
Shamila Batohi, the new National Director of Public Prosecutions, has had an exciting week at the office it seems.
The NPA boss and Justice Minister Michael Masutha are reportedly clashing over prosecutor's salaries.
Batohi has sent a letter to the state attorney, stating that the NPA will no longer oppose an application aimed at forcing improvements on the salaries of deputy directors and chief prosecutors at the entity.
According to The Citizen, the salaries of the nation's top prosecutors are considerably less than the juniors they lead and Batohi won't stand for it.
Both Masutha and the director-general of the justice department have obtained a court order to postpone the application, saying they needed to consult with Batohi. The pair stated that they would try to persuade her not the withdraw her opposition, in the hopes of presenting a 'united front'.
Judge Wendy Hughes granted the postponement, saying in the High Court that it appeaed as if the NPA boss had not consulted with the minister or director-general.
The end result was a conflict of interest, where Masutha and the DG were now at odds with the NPA, despite sharing the same legal representative. However, Batohi seems intent on pursuing her opposing application.
The South African Society of State Advocates have been in a deadlock for years, trying to improve the salaries of prosecutors. Although coming to an agreement in 2007, deputy directors and chief prosecutors had been excluded from the increases.
The NPA has since promised to look into the situation, but until this latest move from Batohi, nothing had come of it.
Briefly.co.za reported last year that Shamila Batohi had been appointed in November 2018 by President Cyril Ramaphosa in the hopes of reviving the National Prosecuting Authority. It seems as if she is determined to do exactly that, starting with ensuring her troops are cared for.
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