Red flags have been raised about the State Capture Commission’s recommendation that government introduce laws to allow for deferred prosecutions of corporations accused of crimes like corruption.
Advocacy group Open Secrets that focused on Apartheid’s economic crimes says the public should be skeptical and watch closely how this recommendation is taken forward by the State. Deferred prosecution agreements effectively allow companies to get off with a slap on the wrist often paying a fine. This is usually if they potentially provide information on the alleged crime, or give money back they earned through the act.
The group’s Michael Merchant suggests that deferred prosecutions mostly defeat the purpose of accountability which South Africans want.
He says the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has been pushing for this practice as it’s struggling with the lack of resources and capacity to take on large cases.