Townships get fully fledged courts

Waghied Misbach

Waghied Misbach

Soweto will soon have its own fully fledged court for hearing maintenance and other civil cases - a development that removes another vestige of apartheid that made blacks feel inferior.

This was said by Justice Minister Brigitte Mabandla yesterday ahead of her departmental budget speech in parliament.

Mabandla said her ministry had identified 24 branch courts, most of them in townships, that will be given the status of fully fledged courts. There are 90 branch courts.

Mabandla said the staff of the Soweto court had to report for work in Johannesburg before returning to Soweto too perform their duties and serve the public.

"These are crude features of apartheid that we must remove," she said. "They create feelings of inferiority."

Deputy Justice Minister Johnny de Lange said branch courts dealt only with criminal cases. But that was going to change, he said.

Women will now be able to hear maintenance cases in courts in their own townships.

Additional equipment and resources are being allocated to the upgraded courts.

Court files are being transferred from Johannesburg to Soweto.