JOHANNESBURG-- South African Justice Minister Michael Masutha has called on the International Association of Prosecutors (IAP) to equip its members, especially those in African countries, with the skills needed to successfully prosecute cases of illicit financial flows, human trafficking, terrorism funding and trading in protected wildlife species.

They also need the specialized skills required to process repatriation of eroded resources back to the continent,

Masutha said here Monday when he addressed more than 400 senior prosecutors, heads of prosecuting agencies and ministers of justice from around the world.

They are meeting in Johannesburg from Sept 9 to 14 to exchange experiences on prosecutorial independence, including new developments, and legal challenges at the annual IAP Conference which is being held under the theme: 'Prosecutorial Independence the Cornerstone of Justice to Society".

It is estimated that Africa loses over 50 billion dollars annually to criminal activities, which rob us of resources that would help our development efforts, said Masutha.

His comments came in the context of South Africa takes stock of the effects of State capture -- the exercise of undue influence by outside parties on top officers of State, including in the award of contracts.

This is a criminal gain for the detriment of the continent and mostly poor people. This relates to money laundering and illicit trading, he added.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

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