'It is utter rubbish. It's a lie': Shamila Batohi on R1.7m CR17 payment claim

10 September 2019 - 09:45 By TimesLIVE
National director of public prosecutions Shamila Batohi.
National director of public prosecutions Shamila Batohi.
Image: Sunday Times/Alon Skuy

"It is utter rubbish. It's a lie."

With these seven words national director of public prosecutions (NDPP) Shamila Batohi on Tuesday scotched rumours circulating online that she had been paid  R1,750,000 by Cyril Ramaphosa's CR17 campaign fund.

Twitter has been awash with claims, backed by a purported "list", claiming that certain judges and people had allegedly been paid various amounts by the fund.

The list circulated at the same time that damning revelations were published by the Daily Maverick about a money trail linking EFF leader Julius Malema to an alleged spending spree involving millions siphoned from VBS Mutual Bank.

Batohi, speaking on SABC Morning Live, was asked for her response to the claims that she had received nearly R2m – given her standing and perception that the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) had to be independent and above reproach.

According to the rumours, she was paid the money on March 14 2018.

"Well I'm not sure I should dignify that with a response actually," was her initial reaction.

"I don't know why people do this and I don't want to speculate about it and I will not be distracted by it," she added.

"I think these are tactics to try to distract you from doing your work and this is the start of it. There is going to be a lot more and I realise I have to fortify myself against these attacks.

"When I was interviewed I said this is a shark tank and it seems like the attacks have started but this will not distract us from our important work."

Police minister Bheki Cele revealed in August that 1,800 cases investigated by the Hawks had been sent to the NDPP for a decision.

Cele said these included "sophisticated" cases that involved municipalities, the corruption and fraud at the now defunct VBS Mutual Bank, and Eskom.

"We expect, in the not-distant future, to have real serious results," reported TimesLIVE.