Association for Free Research and International Cooperation

Cyril Ramaphosa appoints first female chief prosecutor

Shamila Batohi, who served as prosecutions chief in KwaZulu-Natal province has become the first woman to be appointed chief prosecutor in South Africa. The female lawyer was on Tuesday appointed by the president Cyril Ramaphosa.
Regarded as one of those who played a significant role in the struggle against corruption, Batohi served as senior adviser to the prosecutor at the International Criminal Court (ICC) since 2009.

She was equally part of the high-level team appointed by Nelson Mandela to investigate apartheid-era hit squads in 1995.

In a public statement, President Cyril Ramaphosa reaffirmed his conviction that the recently appointed prosecutor possesses all attributes required for the role.

In her acceptance speech, she noted that she is obliged to serve the country with humility and with dedication to the best of her ability and called on all to get ready to sacrifice all what it takes to fight the good fight.

Batohi considers her appointment as a win for the country’s women in the quest for gender equality. She revealed that her appointed is a historic moment for women and a recognition by the president that the role of women in the pursuit of equality, justice and a fair society is important.

She takes office at a time when the prosecution service is plagued by scandals, and suspicions that allegations against former president Zuma and his allies were shielded from corruption investigations.

Hence, her primary role will be to win back public confidence on the back of allegations of state capture and widespread graft under former president Zuma’s reign.

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