South Africa gets its first woman chief prosecutor

Tuesday December 04 2018

Ms Shamila Batohi. South Africa's first woman chief prosecutor. PHOTO | BBC


South Africa has picked a new chief prosecutor - a key figure in the country’s struggle against corruption.

Ms Shamila Batohi - the first woman in the role - said she was ready to fight the good fight.

The prosecution service has been engulfed by scandal, with claims that former President Jacob Zuma and his allies were shielded from corruption investigations.

Hence, there has been huge interest here in the appointment of a new chief prosecutor.

The winner

President Cyril Ramaphosa's government - anxious to show it is now serious about tackling corruption - took the unprecedented step of broadcasting the job interviews on live television.


Today, Ms Batohi - a highly experienced barrister - was declared the winner.

Her task will be to convince a sceptical public that powerful politicians will now be held to account.

She’s described the prosecution service as a house on fire, and South Africa as a victim of high-level corruption.

His interventions

Mr Zuma is widely blamed for the rot. Last year a court condemned his interventions in the prosecution service as an abuse of power.

President Ramaphosa, has promised a fresh start.

South Africa is watching closely to see who Ms Batohi targets first.