South African President Cyril Ramaphosa speaking during Winnie Madikizela-Mandela in Orlando Stadium, Soweto. PHOTO:

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Ramaphosa names Hermione Cronje as head of new anti-corruption body

CAPE TOWN, May 17 – President Cyril Ramahosa has named prosecuting authority veteran Advocate Hermione Cronje as the head of the new Investigating Directorate in the National Prosecuting Authority which he established two months ago, his office said on Friday.

Cronje, whose qualifications include a masters degree from Harvard University, was appointed to the post for a five-year period, the presidency said.

She worked for the NPA for 14 years and helped to establish the now defunct Scorpions investigative unit. Cronje has since 2013 worked as a consultant for the Stolen Assets Recovery Initiative (StAR) – a joint initiative of the World Bank and UN Office on Drugs and Crime.

Ramaphosa established the new unit to investigate corruption, fraud and theft in large part in a bid to ensure that the culprits of the state capture scandal that has shaken the country for several years, be brought before court. She served for ten years as the head of the NPA’s Asset Forfeiture Unit in the Western Cape.

As evidence on the scandal, which saw the state lose billions to rent-seeking schemes, continues before the Zondo commission of inquiry, prosecutions have yet to follow.

The Democratic Alliance has pointed out that to succeed the new unit will need a vast budget as investigations into crime of this nature are costly.

The presidency said the directorate would “investigate any unlawful activities relating to serious, high-profile or complex corruption including but not limited to offences or criminal or unlawful activities arising from current commissions and enquiries”. (ANA)

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