JOHANNESBURG – Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng called for specialised training for magistrates, police investigators, state prosecutors, and court interpreters to deal with sensitive cases involving gender-based violence (GBV).
Mogoeng presented his annual judiciary report on Thursday, which showed how overburdened the courts were.
The high courts finalised more than 10,000 cases between April 2018 and March 2019, while judges managed to close more than 114,000 civil cases over the same period.
The chief justice said sexual offences courts didn’t have the capacity and the manpower to deal with GBV cases.
“I think you need a focused and well-trained cohort of investigating officers that deal either exclusively or primarily with gender-based violence cases or rape cases,” Mogoeng said.
He said state prosecutors and court interpreters needed to be specially trained to deal with victims of these crimes.
“You may even want dedicated prosecutors there instead of magistrates, but whatever you choose to do, you need a lawyer with a lot of legal practice.”
The high level of GBV reached a boiling point in the country in September with protests being staged by women, victims and activists.
In the same month, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced an emergency plan to tackle GBV.
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