The Police and Prisons Civil Right Union (POPCRU) has noted with concern the pledged amount of R9,5 million by Germany towards the National Directorate of Public Prosecutions (NDPP), which is said to be channelled for the South African public to lodge complaints about improper conduct involving NPA staff.
However well-meaning this gesture might seem to be, the potential risks relating to the impact of donor funding are likely to compromise the NPA’s integrity and independence, and we should never allow any foreign interference of whatever nature in this highly sensitive space.
For us, the importance of the NPA independently investigating and prosecuting people without having to consider where their financial support affects them is vital in the combat against crime and corruption.
It is important that donor or private funding does not impinge on the independence of the NPA, especially with regard to its decisions on who it investigates and prosecutes.
It is widely acknowledged that societal and public expectation is that the NPA needs to work and help us to fight the scourge of corruption, and for it to function in executing this role, it needs not be linked to any characteristics that would increase its dependency, put it under undue pressure, or project any hidden agendas through its platforms.
The NPA is too important to be at any potential risk, at the mercy of individuals or groupings which might have vested interests, as this would mean that this prosecuting body could be indebted to donors.
We should never agree to any form of donor funding under the guise of saving our institutions while coming with attached strings that could potentially redirect the purposes and objectives of the NPA.
Any form of funding should consider addressing the challenges of corruption, and be channelled towards the Anti-Corruption unit within the public service, wherein allegations of corruption are dealt with.
Issued by POPCRU on 14/08/2020