President Cyril Ramaphosa has appointed Advocate Hermione Theresa Cronje as the head of the Investigating Directorate in the Office of the National Director of Public Prosecutions (NDPP), the Presidency confirmed on Friday.
Cronje’s appointment is effective from May 15, 2019.
In March 2019, Ramaphosa proclaimed the establishment of an Investigating Directorate in the Office of the NDPP, in terms of Section 7(1) of the National Prosecuting Authority Act (NPA), 1998 (Act No.32 of 1998).
The investigating directorate is tasked with investigating common law offences including fraud, forgery, uttering, theft and any offence involving dishonesty.
The Presidency in a statement said Cronje had been appointed to the position for a period of five years in terms of Section 13(1)(b) read with Section 14 of the NPA Act.
“The Investigating Directorate she will lead in her new role will attend to statutory offences including but not limited to contraventions of: The Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act 6 of 2000; the Prevention of Organised Crime Act 121 of 1988; the Protection of Constitutional Democracy against Terrorist and Related Activities Act 33 of 2004; the Public Finance Management Act 1 of 1999; the Municipal Management Act 56 of 2003; the Financial Intelligence Centre Act 38 of 2001; and any other statutory offence involving dishonesty.
“In addition, the directorate will investigate any unlawful activities relating to serious, high-profile or complex corruption including but not limited to offences or criminal or unlawful activities arising from current commissions and inquiries.”
Cronje holds a Masters in Public Administration from Harvard University, Kennedy School of Government and a BA and LLB from the University of Cape Town.
From 1998 to 2012, she was employed in various capacities in the NPA – first as an assistant to the first NDPP, then as founding member of the Asset Forfeiture Unit (AFU) and after that, for 10 years as Regional Head of the AFU in the Western Cape.
In her last year at the NPA she was involved in the establishment of the Anti-Corruption Task Team (ACTT), a multi-agency task team established to investigate, prosecute and recover the assets of persons involved in large-scale corruption.
Since 2013, Cronje has been engaged as a consultant on behalf of the Stolen Assets Recovery Initiative (StAR) – a joint initiative of the World Bank and UNODC.