No Bail For Arrested Looters, says NPA

The National Prosecuting Authority is putting together special teams of prosecutors to prosecute the 1 230 people arrested for public violence and looting. South Africa is currently facing outbreaks of violence which has resulted in death and destruction.

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In a statement issued on Tuesday, the government has announced that the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has assembled special teams of prosecutors to prosecute the 1 230 people arrested for public violence and looting.

NPA spokesperson,  Advocate Mthunzi Mhaga, says prosecutors with experience in dealing with these types of cases have been tasked with prioritizing them as the number of arrests continues to rise in the affected province.

The head of the National Prosecution Service has advised directors of public prosecutions in affected divisions to prioritize these matters and to refer the cases to prosecutors with the requisite experience, who must work with and guide police in their investigations.

“Should any special arrangements need to be made with regard to courts, this will be discussed with the relevant stakeholders,” he said.

Mhaga also warned that those who engage in lawlessness to endanger the country and it's people will face the full force of the law.

“As South Africans, we have the right to voice our opinions and express our discontent through various lawful channels, including peaceful protest action.

However, violent protests and criminal looting undermine the rule of law and will damage our country’s economy and development prospects, at a very difficult time when we are in the grips of a debilitating third wave of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mhaga added that in addition to being criminal, the violence also destroyed the livelihoods of many people, in particular, the poor and most vulnerable and that It would disproportionately affect women and children.

"The National Director of Public Prosecutions, Advocate Shamila Batohi, and the leadership strongly condemn this lawlessness and criminality ravaging our country and are monitoring developments to better organize the NPA to respond appropriately," Mhaga said 

He said law enforcement authorities had to do what was necessary to prevent further violence and acts of criminality. In particular, the focus would be on bringing to justice those responsible for incitement to commit acts of violence and other forms of criminal conduct.

“As lawyers for the people of South Africa, the NPA will uphold the rule of law by ensuring that justice is delivered without fear, favour or prejudice. We urge our fellow South Africans to utilise lawful means to protest and make your voices heard; otherwise, nobody wins,” Mhaga added.

 

 

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