The National Prosecuting Authority of South Africa (NPA) says that it expects to improve its service delivery at lower courts with the roll-out of cellular phones to prosecutors who previously had no official cell phones.
This is part of the NPA’s transformation strategy, aimed at improving the standard of its service in the country.
The NPA says 2,500 units will be distributed countrywide to prosecutors at lower courts.
In terms of the contract entered into by the NPA and the mobile communications company, Cell C (Pty) Ltd., the NPA reports that it will make a saving of over R5 million (US$827,938) over a period of two years. Bulelani Ngcuka, head of the NPA and National Director of Public Prosecutions, says the cellular services and products will improve the efficiency of the prosecutions authority, which would in turn improve the administration of justice and reduce the backlog of cases.
“There are places in the rural areas where there are limited or no fixed telephone lines. This has meant that the regional offices have been unable to reach prosecutors in far-flung areas. In some instances we have had to rely on mail correspondence, which sometimes took a lot of time, and seriously limited our service”, Ngcuka says.
Cell C chairman and CEO, Talaat Laham, says his company was pleased to contribute to the fight against crime.
“In terms of our partnership with the NPA, each prosecutor will receive 100 free minutes anytime, and 120 free text messages. This will enable convenient communication for them without the burden of worrying about incurring high costs,” he says.
The NPA states that discussions between the two parties are continuing, with a view to extending the contract to senior prosecutors and corporate services staff within the NPA.