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Who Is Shamila Batohi
Shamila Batohi started her public service as a junior prosecutor in the Chatsworth magistrate’s court in 1986 and steadily rose through the ranks to become the Director of Public Prosecutions in KwaZulu-Natal. She was seconded to the Investigation Task Unit established by President Nelson Mandela in 1995 and later served as the first regional head of the Directorate of Special Operations based in KwaZulu-Natal. For much of the last decade, she has served as a Senior Legal Adviser to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court.
Shamila Batohi Full Biography and Profile
Shamila Batohi, a prominent Indian-origin lawyer, started her public service as a junior prosecutor in the Chatsworth Magistrates’ Court in 1986 and has served as the first regional head of the directorate of special operations based in KwaZulu-Natal.
Shamila is not new to the leadership of the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA). She served as the director of public prosecutions in KwaZulu-Natal – a position she held from 2002 to 2009.
In 1995, Shamila Batohi was appointed by former president Nelson Mandela to be part of the multi-disciplinary team mandated to investigate hit squad activities within the police service during apartheid.
Batohi studied at the University of Durban Westville and completed her postgraduate at the old University of Natal.
She began her career in private practice, followed by 15 years in the role of director of public prosecutions (DPP) in KwaZulu-Natal.
She was described as a tigress when she lead the prosecution of Proteas captain Hansie Cronje at the King Commission of Inquiry into Cricket Match Fixing in 2000.
Shamila Batohi was also chosen to be in a high-level team, appointed by former president Nelson Mandela, to investigate apartheid-era hit squad activities.
She has also been a senior legal adviser to the prosecutor at the International Criminal Court since 2009.
During her televised interview at the Union Buildings for the role of the NPA boss, questions were raised about allegations of racism against her more than a decade ago.
Batohi denied the allegations and explained that a facilitator was appointed to look into her relationship with her staff.
Shamila Batohi, who has worked for the past nine years as a legal adviser to the prosecutor in the International Criminal Court in The Hague, is seen by political commentators as untainted by local political factions.
President Cyril Ramaphosa Name Shamila Batohi South Africa’s New Chief Prosecutor
President Cyril Ramaphosa named prominent Indian-origin lawyer Shamila Batohi South Africa’s new chief prosecutor on Tuesday, after the Constitutional Court ruled in August that the appointment of the previous prosecutor was invalid. Having a credible National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP) heading the National Prosecuting Authority is seen as crucial for Ramaphosa’s commitment to fight corruption.
Ramaphosa said in a speech the NDPP should not be beholden to political or business interests and that Batohi had “the experience, conscientiousness and integrity” to succeed.
“The President, and by proxy the people (of South Africa) have bestowed a lot of confidence in me. The least I can do is reciprocate that confidence. My only obligation is to serve the country with humility and dedication to the best of my ability. Each one of us, no matter where we are, must be ready to sacrifice the necessary, to fight the good fight. Our country needs us.”
- Shamila Batohi Biography and Profile