SWC courts in full swing

2010-06-10 21:05
Johannesburg - The justice department said on Thursday that special courts dedicated to dealing with 2010 World Cup offences had received seven cases since they opened two weeks ago.

Spokesperson Tlali Tlali said the department was pleased that the courts were functioning according to plan.

"Indeed we are satisfied... that what we have planned for is taking place," he said.

Of the seven cases, one has been withdrawn and the outcome of the other cases was pending.

There were three cases of theft in Gauteng, one case of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs in KwaZulu-Natal, two cases of possession of counterfeit merchandise in Limpopo and a case of a bomb scare in the Northern Cape, Tlali said.

A total of 56 special courts began operating at the end of May. They were set up in order to "avoid burdening existing court rolls with FIFA tournament cases".

At the outset, the department said about 1 140 officials and 93 foreign language interpreters would be deployed.

The courts would wrap up business two weeks after the tournament ends.

Legal Aid SA said its lawyers deployed at the dedicated courts were ready to take on World Cup-related cases.

"We foresee our role more in terms of ensuring that World Cup related cases are dealt with efficiently and speedily," said communications executive, Mpho Phasha.

Legal Aid SA would focus mainly on assisting foreigners who do not qualify for legal aid by putting them in touch with private attorneys.


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