NEWS & ANALYSIS

Disturbing personal attacks on NPA head condemned – LSSA

Law Society says rumours doing the rounds are unnecessary and devoid of any merit

LSSA strongly condemns disturbing personal attacks on the NPA head, Adv Shamila Batohi and on the judiciary

11 September 2019  

The Law Society of South Africa (LSSA) once again reiterates its previous condemnation against any attack on the judiciary. Social media has been overflowing with claims, backed by a purported ‘list’, claiming that certain judges and people had allegedly been paid various amounts by President Cyril Ramaphosa's CR17 campaign fund. 

We strongly condemn the disturbing personal attack on the National Director of Public Prosecutions, Adv Shamila Batohi. The rumours circulating online that Ms Batohi was paid R1,750,000 by the fund are unnecessary and devoid of any merit.

The social media posts resort to a new strategy of casting aspersions through peddling fake news against the judiciary and the NPA. A malicious and dangerous strategy which is now being used is to identify and discredit some judges, the NPA head and all those who act without fear, favour or prejudice, says LSSA President Mvuzo Notyesi.

He adds: ‘We believe that the recent fake news purporting itself as information from the sealed bank statement of the CR17 campaign are unwarranted attacks which appear to have the sole aim of undermining the judiciary and the NPA and therefore cannot be in the interest of society.

It is regrettable that there are people who seek to impugn the integrity of the judiciary and the NPA.’ 

The LSSA stands firm in support of the institutions  of justice and the persons of judges and the prosecutors mentioned in the fake emails, parody Twitter accounts and other platforms. The LSSA rejects the suggestion that both the NPA head and the mentioned judges received money from the CR17 campaign. We regard these allegations as an attack on the rule of law and the independence of the judiciary.

The LSSA urges legal practitioners to stand firm in all platforms including social media and print media to dismiss these malicious and dangerous allegations.

We remind the public and litigants that any person who has a complaint against members of the judiciary or the NPA, that there are mechanisms in place to lodge such complaints. We must respect the Constitution and the rule of law. Should anyone feel strongly about their convictions, the LSSA urges the complainants to submit these complaints with full grounds to the Judicial Service Commission for urgent investigation, as this is the correct body to investigate such serious allegations against judges.

Issued by Mvuzo Notyesi, LSSA Communications, 11 September 2019