South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has appointed Silas Ramaite as acting chief prosecutor.
Ramaite replaces Shaun Abrahams, who left office after the country’s top court ruled on Monday that he was not validly appointed and was a beneficiary of former President Jacob Zuma’s abuse of power.
Meanwhile the Justice Minister, Michael Masutha says South Africa will probe allegations that state attorneys defrauded government of billions of dollars by deliberately losing cases.
The move comes as President Cyril Ramaphosa steps up efforts to crackdown on corruption.
Ramaphosa, who replaced former president Jacob Zuma in February, has made the fight against corruption a key plank of his administration as he seeks “to restore investor confidence after the scandal-plagued Zuma era.’’
Allegation of colluding
The Special Investigating Unit (SIU), a state entity which probes malpractice in government, will look into hundreds of cases where state attorneys are accused of colluding with private lawyers to agree the settlement of fictitious claims.
“The investigation will help the Department of Justice to lay to rest concerns that have been raised.
“Where appropriate … disciplinary action as well as criminal investigations will be initiated against alleged perpetrators to ensure that firm action is taken to uproot corrupt activities,” Masutha told reporters.
In the health ministry, one of the departments worst affected by the alleged fraud, claims totalling 56 billion rand ($4 billion) will be investigated, Minister of Health Aaron Motsoaledi said at the same briefing.