News agency, Cape Town, South Africa
Wednesday January 23rd 2019

Municipal courts struggling under workload


Municipal courts are no longer able to cope with the overwhelming number of traffic related offenses as the number of courts, magistrates and prosecutors are insufficient to deal with the workload.

Mayoral Committee Member of Safety and Security Jean Pierre Smith said as a result, the City is overwhelmed with unpaid traffic fines and also unable to deal with cases relating to municipal bylaw contraventions which were also in the municipal courts’ realm.

With 11 municipal courts and nine prosecutors, the City “can’t get enough of these cases into court”, said Smith.

With one prosecutor was assigned to each court, there was a still a shortfall.

However, he said the process was underway to appoint two additional prosecutors.

“It is intended to have the prosecutors appointed before the end of the year,” he said.

He was unable to say how many cases the City was able to prosecute a year as it varied according to the complexity of the cases.

Head of the Department of Justice in the Western Cape, Hishaam Mohamed said his department did not have any agreement yet with the City to supply them with additional capacity in terms of prosecutors and magistrates.

Mohamed said his department was still discussing the matter with the City.

“We have no agreement yet with the City regarding additional capacity. We are still putting it together,” he said. — Peter Luhanga

Tags: Hishaam Mohamed, Jean Pierre Smith

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