Hofmeyr: target too ambitious
Deputy National Director of Public Prosecutions and head of the Asset Forfeiture Unit Willie Hofmeyr says it is unlikely it will meet the government's 2009 target of securing 100 convictions of the "rich and powerful" within five years.
Hofmeyr was last night addressing the University of Cape Town's law faculty on the work of his unit and challenges facing it in its fight against corruption.
"The current administration did grasp a number of nettles in 2009 when it took office and was much more willing to acknowledge we had real problems in the areas of crime, corruption, education and health."
The unit has frozen almost R1-billion in assets.
He said the target of 100 convictions of the "rich and powerful" people who had made millions from corrupt activities was steep. Apart from Schabir Shaik, only one other person had been convicted, he said.
"I can't say we're going to get close to meeting the target of 100 convictions because very few of these trials finish within five years," said Hofmeyr.
He said instead of defending the accused, defence lawyers sought to free their clients on technicalities .
Though the unit was well-funded , Hofmeyr said it failed to attract skilled people .
"The number of people who have the skills to investigate cases like these are not that many," said Hofmeyr.