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The Criminal Justice System:Speech by Deputy Minister J. Jeffery of Justice and Constitutional Development

Tuesday 24th October 2017

House Chairperson
Ministers and Deputy Ministers
Members of Parliament
Guest in the Gallery
Ladies and Gentlemen

Service delivery:

DA says that as it`s governing four metros it means that the DA, and its various coalition governments, now controls R139.5 billion worth of public money. On its website they say: "We control more money in South Africa`s major cities than the ANC does" ; so if they control the money, then they are responsible for service delivery in the metros, and should stop blaming the ANC.

And on crime and justice:

They say they are serious about fighting corruption: However, when City of Cape Town mayoral committee member for safety and security JP Smith, accused DA Mayor Patricia de Lille of corruption in using state funds to upgrade security at her home and for building works, they suspended him.

He further alleged in a letter to Mmusi Maimane that De Lille had clipped the wings of his "Special Investigations Unit" because it was about to expose her corruption. A letter from De Lille`s chief of staff to the city manager reads: "The mayor kindly requests written confirmation that the SIU has been shut down. If it has not been shut down yet, she would like to know why this is the case."

The DA`s Safety, Crime and Justice Policy smacks of dishonesty. In it, they say they want:

  • an integrated criminal justice information system ; newsflash: we already have one
  • Court rationalisation and expansion programmes ; we done that too
  • To expedite the re-demarcation and rationalisation of magisterial districts ; we have done that too
  • Reducing backlogs in court ; we are doing that too
  • Make appropriate use of ADR processes ; we have that already in Court Annexed Mediation
  • Increase the monetary jurisdiction of the Small Claims Court from R12 000 ; done that too

So they put all these things into a "policy" and sold it to public, knowing full well that National Government was/is busy doing it already.

  • In the same document they say that, as regards the appointment of magistrates, "delays by the Minister in appointing magistrates after receiving recommendations from the Magistrates Commission should be avoided" ; what delays? Where do they get this from? Can they even back this up?
  • The document also says that "the DA advocated for both the Constitution Seventeenth Amendment Bill and the Superior Courts Bill" really??? Sorry, but those Bills came as a result of ANC positions that were taken at ANC Conferences and after meetings between the judiciary and the executive. It`s a total lie.

Conviction rates in High Courts

High conviction rates were maintained in all forums.

The high courts received 939 new cases and finalised 1 064 cases with 968 guilty verdicts and 96 acquittals and 61 withdrawals. High courts achieved a 91% conviction rate exceeding the target with 4%

The number of formal bail applications in the high courts increased remarkably by 115% from 26 to 56. The reason for such increase could mainly be attributed to the increase in complex and lengthy cases.

The high courts saw a slight decrease in the number of appeals received and finalised which was 3.4% from 2 520 to 2 439 appeal cases

Conviction rate and progress of Regional Courts

The regional courts enrolled a total of 55 550 cases compared to the previous year with a marginal decline of 1.6%

The courts finalised 34 257 cases comprising 31 608 verdict cases (92.3% of the total finalised cases) with a conviction rate of 79.8% and 2 649 ADRM cases (7.7% of the total finalised cases).

As I conclude

The regional courts finalised 7 530 court and criminal matters in addition to the cases finalised including ADRM which take up valuable court time

Formal bail applications (58.8%) coupled with the application for leave to appeal (29.2%) utilised the most court time

During this reporting period a total of 4 428 formal bail applications were dealt with, which represents an increase of 27.4% from the total bail applications (3 476) dealt with last year. A total of 119 234 dockets were received for decision which represents 14 649 (14%) more than the 104 585 received during FY2015/16. Prosecutions were instituted in 18 940 dockets whilst prosecution was declined in 43 298 dockets. A total of 57 270 dockets were referred back for further investigation before a final decision could be made.

I Thank You!!

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