Theft tops World Cup court cases

THEFT tops the list of cases brought to specialised World Cup courts.

Department of Justice spokesperson Tlali Tlali told Sowetan yesterday that of the 80 cases heard from May 28 to June 21, 40percent of them were theft-related.

Tlali said 6,25percent of the cases were for fraud.

"Just above 3percent are of assault, common robbery and malicious damage to property each," he said.

He said 67 of the accused were South Africans and 42 were foreign nationals.

"Gauteng accounts for 39percent of the cases heard, followed by Western Cape at 22percent.

"At least 45 of the 80 cases have been finalised, 39 resulted in convictions. Six were withdrawn. There were two acquittals and 33 were postponed.

"Sixteen of the convictions were in Gauteng, five in Limpopo, two in KwaZulu-Natal, four in Eastern Cape, seven in Western Cape, one in Mpumalanga. North West received a 100percent conviction rate, with all four cases heard," Tlali said.

He said the crime types varied from trespassing, possession of suspected stolen goods, possession of stolen goods and robbery with aggravating circumstances.

Four of the charges were withdrawn in Gauteng, one in KwaZulu-Natal and another in Western Cape.

Both acquittals were in Gauteng.

There are 56 courts around the country. They are open until 11pm, seven days a week. A total of R45million has been budged for the project, which will run until two weeks after the tournament.