South Africa gets first female chief prosecutor

Shamila Batohi during her acceptance speech as South Africa’s new National Director of Public Prosecutions [Photo courtesy: East Coast radio]
For the first time in South Africa’s history, a woman has been appointed to become the chief prosecutor.

President Cyril Ramaphosa on Tuesday announced the appointment of Shamila Batohi as the new National Director of Public Prosecutions, the first ever woman to hold the position.

The prosecution service has been dogged by scandals, with allegations popping up that former President Cyril Ramaphosa and his allies were shielded from corruption investigations.

“I accept with gratitude the opportunity to serve as National Director of Public Prosecutions. My only obligation is to serve the country with humility and with dedication to the best of my ability. Each one of us must be ready to sacrifice the necessary to fight the good fight. Our country needs us,” Batohi said in her acceptance speech.

She also hailed her appointment as a win for the country’s women in the quest for gender equality.

“Let us not forget that this is also a historic moment for women. It is a recognition by our president that the role of women in the pursuit of equality, justice and a fair society is important,” she said.

Batohi first duty will be to win back public confidence on the back of allegations of state capture and widespread graft under former president Zuma’s reign.

“The NPA will serve the Constitution and the people of South Africa. I know it won’t be easy but with your support I know we will all succeed. There is a lot of work to be done,” she said.