Jean Redpath


Failing to Prosecute? Assessing the State of the National Prosecuting Authority in South Africa

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) is pivotal not only in the criminal justice system, but also in the proper functioning of South Africa’s democracy. This monograph focuses on the independence, accountability and performance of the NPA in relation to its core function of prosecution. The monograph finds that the prosecutorial decision to decline to prosecute is both specifically and systematically exercised to such an extent that proportionally fewer cases are placed on the court roll each year and fewer still are brought to trial. The best indication of this is that the number of verdicts and the number of persons sentenced to prison show a general decline. It concludes that this tendency to decline to prosecute is currently the central malaise affecting the NPA.