Shamila Batohi is a vibrant prosecutor and one of the undeterred South Africans fighting the disturbing rise of crime in the country. Batohi’s work across key government parastatals is putting the criminal-minded on notice.
According to the World Population Review, South Africa has the third-highest crime rate in the world, an astounding 76.86%. The country is riddled with assaults, rape, and homicides — and the government isn’t left out. This has been linked to many factors, such as high poverty levels, inequality, unemployment, social exclusion, and the normalisation of violence. Batohi is at the forefront of the fight against this status quo. But before we dive into her work, let’s see how it all started.
Shamila Batohi was raised in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal. She earned a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of Durban-Westville and a postgraduate law degree from the University of Natal.
In 1986, Batohi began her career as a junior prosecutor in the Chatsworth Magistrate’s office. She progressed through the ranks to become the Director of Public Prosecutions in KwaZulu-Natal. She led the cross-examination for the King Commission, a high-profile commission of investigation into cricket match-fixing that happened during South Africa’s tour to India in 2000.
Batohi was appointed by former South African President Nelson Mandela to the Investigation Task Unit’s (ITU) prosecuting team. The legendary Mandela founded the ITU in 1995 to examine politically motivated hit squads inside the KwaZulu-Natal police department during the 1980s.
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