Tue Oct 25 07:08:40 CAT 2016
Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Des Van Rooyen. Picture Credit: Gallo Images
Van Rooyen suddenly withdraws his interdict

In another twist involving the public protector’s office‚ the Minister of Co-operative Governance an.

Court raid cause for concern

By unknown | Apr 16, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

As dispensers of justice courts of law enjoy moral integrity and authority that give them an aura of being impregnable fortresses.

As dispensers of justice courts of law enjoy moral integrity and authority that give them an aura of being impregnable fortresses.

Not only are they charged with the responsibility of administering justice fairly and speedily, but they are also a key component of the country's criminal justice system.

Sadly that image was tarnished by the security lapse that resulted in a daring weekend raid on the Johannesburg high court in which important documents relating to high-profile cases were stolen.

While the attack has raised the spectre of inadequate security at court buildings, it is noteworthy that previous warnings seem not to have been taken seriously.

A Johannesburg high court judge angrily raised similar concerns last year to dead silence on the part of the Department of Justice and Department of Public Works.

Stringent protective measures for court officials are mandatory, given the sensitive nature of their jobs.

We would have thought previous incidents - such as when a senior prosecutor Marissa Booysen was robbed and stabbed in the Pretoria magistrates' court a few years ago - would have raised alarm bells.

A few years ago a public uproar greeted a break-in at a judge's office in the same high court building, presumably by thieves who wanted to steal documents.

The ease with which the burglary was carried out buoyed those responsible to threaten the judge's life later.

It is again the ease with which the gang entered the high court this week that is cause for grave concern.

Police have promised to investigate the latest incidents. But that will hardly inspire public confidence in the impregnability of our criminal justice system as long as no immediate steps are taken to implement tight security measures to avert future security breaches.

Needless to say, security breaches compromise not only the integrity of our justice system but also generate public despair over the state's capacity to win the war against organised crime.

So the Department of Justice must move quickly to improve court security to allay public fears of a rickety judicial system that is unable to protect sensitive information in its archives.


Login OR Join up TO COMMENT