Dedicated courts secure over 60 percent conviction rate
6 Jul 2010
Two hundred and twenty three (223) persons appeared as accused persons before dedicated courts in 172 cases processed nationally. These courts were designated by the Justice and Constitutional Development Minister Jeff Radebe as an integral part of the National Security plan intended for the FIFA 2010 World Cup tournament. Of these, 139 cases have been disposed of, resulting in finalisation rate of 80,8%. One hundred and four (104) cases resulted in convictions, translating into 60.4% conviction rate so far. Twenty eight (28) cases were withdrawn mainly due to lack of sufficient evidence, whilst seven cases resulted in acquittals. A further 33 cases have yet to be finalised.
The highest number of cases processed was in Gauteng with seventy eight cases (78), followed by the Western Cape with 43 cases. The conviction rate in these provinces stands at 55,1% and 55,8% respectively. The Northern Cape has not had any cases reported so far. Theft and unlawful selling of FIFA World Cup tickets represent a significant proportion of cases brought before these courts.
Minister Jeff Radebe, the chairperson of the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security (JCPS) cluster has made a commitment that government will at the end of the tournament interrogate the model and explore a possibility of extracting those elements of success out of the model and use them in the criminal justice system as a permanent feature and not a seasonal one. This model will be placed on the agenda for consideration and decision by the cluster. Some features of the model are similar to elements of the seven point plan, the implementation details of which are being finalised.
The seven point plan is a basket of recommendations with specific interventions that will be phased into the criminal justice system. These interventions are intended to cure and enhance the efficiency of the criminal justice system following the review that has been carried out already. Preliminary indications (and not findings) point out to few things about the success of the model. Firstly, there is an element of creativity attached to deployment of existing resources. Secondly, there is a high level of coordination involved among various role players in the criminal justice value chain.
Thirdly, the level of supervision involved in both investigation and prosecution of the cases before these courts proves to be one of the key factors. The department is satisfied that the model is working well and is able to effectively respond to conditions on the ground. Every effort will be made to preserve the success features of this model for continuous and future use.
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Issued by: Department of Justice and Constitutional Development
6 Jul 2010
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