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THE NATIONAL ASSEMBLY PASSES A BILL THAT WILL CREATE A PERMANENT BODY FOR ID WITHIN THE NPA

CAPE TOWN – The National Assembly has approved legislation to establish the Investigating Directorate as a permanent entity under the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).

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It has been operating under a presidential proclamation since 2019, largely to pursue state capture offenses.

Opposition parties, however, are concerned that the body, like its predecessor, the Scorpions, will be dismantled.

Instead, they would prefer the establishment of a more permanent and impartial anti-corruption organization.

The National Prosecuting Authority Amendment Bill seeks to provide the Investigating Directorate with tenure and the ability to select permanent investigators to investigate and prosecute complicated corruption cases.

n final debate on the bill on Tuesday, the Democratic Alliance (DA)’s Glynnis Breytenbach expressed reservations about its permanence.

“We are being asked to recreate a smaller scale model of the directorate of special operations (Scorpions) in the same place, with the same problems, and when it becomes inconvenient, it will be disbanded with the same ease, by the same simple majority in this House.”

Busisiwe Mkhwebane of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) slammed the NPA, claiming that it was ineffectual in pursuing high-level corruption and that an independently-funded agency would have been better.

“Not an NPA, which is currently failing to prosecute the Steinhoff corruption, not the NPA which is currently failing to hold the president to account on the Phala Phala matter.”

The law has been sent to the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) for approval.