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Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Des Van Rooyen. Picture Credit: Gallo Images
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Probe confirms judges' fears

By unknown | Jun 03, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

McKeed Kotlolo

McKeed Kotlolo

An investigation by Sowetan has revealed that there is almost total lack of security at the Pretoria high court and this seems to compromise the safety of judges.

This after complaints by two Pretoria judges whose residences were burgled two weeks ago.

Our probe showed that there is a lack of security in the judges' chambers.

This is contrary to claims by the Justice Department at the weekend that all judges are provided with personal security even at their residences.

Justice Department head of communications Zolile Nqayi has repeated that each judge is provided with bodyguards and that their homes are also secured.

He claimed that the burglaries committed at the Irene Glen Estate home of Judge Aubrey Ledwaba and the Kyalami Glen home of Judge Ronny Bosielo on May 20 and May 29 respectively were "a lapse in security".

Yesterday's visit by Sowetan to the chambers of other judges in the Pretoria high court building confirmed complaints by Ledwaba and Bosielo that their safety was compromised.

They said if someone wanted to take it out on a judge, he or she could do it with ease due to the lack of security.

Sowetan found not even a single security guard in the corridor leading to the chambers.

To make matters worse, the first door with a "no entry" sign written in about six official languages, was wide open at about 11am.

At the end of the corridor is a dysfunctional electrically operated security door with an intercom. The double door was wide open at the time.

Some of the office doors on the 5th floor were also left open.

Again the only security provided was at the checkpoints at the entrance and exit of the building. About five guards manned the entrance and one the exit.

Yesterday afternoon when Sowetan contacted Nqayi, who on Sunday promised to visit the Pretoria high court building to check on the security or the lack of it at the court, he said he had just landed at OR Tambo International Airport.

He promised to investigate the claims today.


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