Justice department heeds lead SA’s call to “Name and Shame”
2 Feb 2012The Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development, Jeff Radebe says his department will be partnering with Lead SA on their campaign that seeks to name and shame drunken drivers.
Speaking to Redi Tlhabi on Talk Radio 702, Minister Radebe made the commitment following a series of questions from Lead SA's Yusuf Abramjee.
“I agree with Yusuf, we need to move with speed as a department to roll out that initiative,” said Radebe. “I undertake that we are going to be partners in naming and shaming those people who (drink and drive),” he added.
Lead SA is to partner with the Justice department on the so-called “Name and Shame” campaign after a pilot in the Western Cape yielded phenomenal success within months.
Towards the end of last year 664 drivers were sentenced in the Western Cape, 47 of whom were sent to jail without the option of paying fines or serving an alternative sentence.
The campaign has earned the stamp of approval from Transport Minister, Sibusiso Ndebele who has indicated that he would support a national roll-out of the campaign. A list of drivers who have been sentenced in the Western Cape’s criminal courts for drinking and driving is published in the Cape Argus newspaper. Their names are also handed over to the provincial transport department to be captured on its eNatis database. The campaign has since been extended to Durban.
Abramjee also raised the recent matter in the Brits Magistrates Court where a fine of R15 000 was suspended for a speedster who clocked 200 km/h driving to Pretoria from Sun City. The fine, or 12 months in prison, was suspended on condition that he didn’t commit a similar offence in the next five years.
The minister said that the hierarchy of the court system in South Africa made it possible for the state to appeal against the “ridiculous sentence by the magistrate.”
He added that “there’s nothing wrong in commenting on judgements by our presiding officer.”
Justice Project South Africa and Lead SA have joined forces to appeal the judgement with the Ministers of Justice and Transport in a bid to ensure that mandatory sentences on serious road offenders is implemented.
“Arresting motorists who commit serious road offences only to release them without any serious repercussions is working against efforts to curb the carnage on our roads. This driver did not only disregard the laws of the roads, but endangered the lives of other road users.
One shudders to think what horrific accident could have occurred and how many lives could have been lost with him at the wheel. An example needs to be made and we want to use this as a test case” said Abramjee.
During this morning’s interview, Abramjeealso touched on the threat to whistle blowers if the Protection of State Information Bill (POIB) in its current form became law.
Radebe said that the freedom of the press wasn’t under threat, but fell short of providing further comment, urging stakeholders to wait for the current processes to run their course.
The controversial bill is now before the National Council of Provinces (NCOP), whose ad-hoc committee is currently holding public hearings on the bill.
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Issued by: Department of Justice and Constitutional Development
2 Feb 2012
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