Meanwhile, she sought to assure South Africans that there has been progress since the establishment of a dedicated TRC component under her deputy Rodney de Kock. The unit works with the Hawks who investigate the cases.
Previously these cases were attended to by a Priority Crimes Litigation Unit (PCLU) in the NPA, which also dealt with international crimes and crimes related to terrorism and which had “around seven staff members”.
As a result, they have reopened 38 new investigations into deaths of detainees and there are 97 other cases that are being investigated.
Batohi said they were looking at all deaths in detention and not only those where families paid lawyers to investigate and prosecute.
“One might say we are not moving as fast as we should be, but we in the NPA and DPCI are doing everything possible to ensure these matters get attention. The numbers speak for themselves. We are acting with an incredible sense of urgency. We know that time is not on our side.”
Batohi said they were hoping to complete all the cases within three years.
Support independent journalism by subscribing to the Sunday Times. Just R20 for the first month.