COURT SERVICES by tgzIO6

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									                                       COURT SERVICES

NARRATIVE REPORT AND BACKGROUND INFORMATION TO THE COURT SERVICES
PRESENTATION TO THE COMMITTEE ON 6 MAY 2008


The information will cover the following aspects:

   1. Court Demographics

   2. The Role of Court Services

            a. The Branch Court Services

            b. Linking Budget to Strategy

            c. Intersectoral Alignment

            d. JCPS Cluster Activities

            e. Integration of systems across the IJS



   3. Court Services’ Approach for 2008



   4. Achievements of 2007; Priorities & Planning for 2008


1. COURT DEMOGRAPHICS

   •    There are 366 magisterial districts, within which there are the following lower court
        houses:

                    •   366 main court seats,
                    •    90 branch courts,
                    •    44 detached offices and
                    •   246 periodical courts

                               MAGISTRATE COURTS SUMMARY
       PROVINCES            DISTRICTS  OFFICES   DETACHED                  BRANCH        PERIODICAL
                                                  OFFICES/                 COURTS         COURTS
                                                 DETACHED
                                                  COURTS
                                                    (D/C)
   EASTERN CAPE                 78        78          1                         6               25
       FREE STATE                53             53              14              1               13
        GAUTENG                  23             23              1              26               10
  KWAZULU-NATAL                  51             51              4              25               34
        LIMPOPO                  36             36              1               5               51
    MPUMALANGA                   30             30              3               5               37
  NORTHERN CAPE                  26             26              9              10               20
       NORTH WEST                27             27              5               2               29
   WESTERN CAPE                  42             42              6              10               27

                                                                                                     1
                    TOTAL                    366            366              44         90             246

                •   There are also approximately 307 regional courts housed at these various main court
                    seats/ branch or periodical courts.

                •   There were 1830 permanent magistrates for the above courts as well as a fluctuating
                    number of acting magistrates


RACE AND GENDER BREAKDOWN OF ALL MAGISTRATES AS ON 31.12.07
                         African African Indian Indian Coloured Coloured                     White    White
     POST CLASS           Male   Female Male Female      Male    Female                      Male    Female      Total
Regional Court President    4       2       1      0       1        1                           1       0        10
     Regional Magistrate   64      34      11     16      11        6                         151      35        328
        Chief Magistrate    7       5       1      2       0        1                           6       1        23
       Senior Magistrate   61       8       2      3       3        2                          39      20        138
             CURRENT MAGISTRATE POSTS ON ESTABLISHMENT




             Magistrate     359        151          50       55         64         37        420      195        1331
      Grand Total           495        200          65       76         79         47        617      251        1830
           Percentages      27%        11%          4%       4%         4%         3%        34%      14%        100%




SUMMARY:
                                                   Grand                           Grand
                             Total                  Total     Total                 Total       Grand
                             Black     Total       Males      Black      Total    Females        Total      Grand
                           [Generic]   White         [All   [Generic]    White       [All        Black      Total
     POST CLASS              Male      Male        Races]    Female     Female     Races]      [Generic]    White        Total
Regional Court President        6         1            7         3          0          3            9          1           10
     Regional Magistrate       86       151          237        56         35         91          142        186          328
        Chief Magistrate        8         6           14         8          1          9           16          7           23
       Senior Magistrate       66        39          105        13         20         33           79         59          138
              Magistrate      473       420          893       243        195        438          716        615         1331
      Grand Total             639       617         1256       323        251        574          962        868         1830
            Percentages      35%       34%          69%       18%        14%        31%          53%         47%




                                                                                                             2
                                           Specia
                                           l
                                           Grade        Regiona               Region    Seni
                                           Chief        l Court     Chief     al        or
                                           Magist       Preside     Magist    Magist    Magi     Magist    TOT
         Province                          rate         nt          rate      rate      strate   rate      AL
         Eastern Cape                                           1         4        37       22       182    246
         Free State                                             1         2        27        8       108    146
         Gauteng                                                2         6        89       30       296    423
         KwaZulu Natal                                          1         3        54       23       237    318
         Limpopo                                                1         1        18       19       103    142
         Mpumalanga                                             1         1        15        8        83    108
         North West                                             1         2        24       13        90    130
         Northern Cape                                          1         1        11        2        45      60
         Western Cape                                           1         3        46       13       170    233
         Grand Total                                          10         23       321      138     1314    1806


            •   There were 13 High Court Divisions with 201 judges as on 29 May 2007

            •   Progress was made during 2007 in terms of improving race and gender representation on
                    RACE AND GENDER BREAKDOWN OF JUDGES AS ON 29 MAY 2007

                African    African     Indian       Indian          Colored     Colored      White     White       Total
                Male       Female      Male         Female          Male        Female       Male      Female

Judges          59         10          11           6               9           6            89        11          201
%               30%        5%          5%           3%              5%          3%           44%       5%          100%
                                                                                                     49%
                                           Judges per post classification
Chief Justice   1          0           0          0           0           0                  0         0           1
Deputy Chief    1          0           0          0           0           0                  0         0           1
Justice
President/      8          0           0            0               0           0            2         0           10
Judge
president
Deputy Judge    5          0           0            0               0           0            1         1           7
President
Judges          44        10          11       6            9          6           86      10                      182
Total Judges    59        10          11       6            9          6           89      11                      201
                the Bench – at both lower and higher courts. The outcome of the programme to train
                women judges to prepare them for positions on the Bench was also positive.

            •   There are on average per month approximately 1559 courts in operation (69 High
                Courts; and 1490 Lower Courts)


         2. The Role of Court Services

            •   To assist the Department to deal with its objectives, the Branch Court Services was
                established to focus directly on those aspects relating directly to the courts. This came
                about after intense deliberation on how to focus attention on our core functions relating to
                the administration of justice through courts and the fragmented approach across various
                branches in the past.
                    – The National Office based Court Services facilitates development of policy and
                        guidelines whilst the implementation is dealt with at Regional level. Courts
                        Services receives feedback in the form of performance reports from the regions


                                                                                                               3
            (via amongst others the Court Performance Chief Directorate and the NOC
            (National Operations Centre)).
        –   In brief our goal is to develop and facilitate the implementation of measures to
            support and assist the courts and to ensure their independence, impartiality,
            dignity, accessibility and effectiveness in accordance with the Constitution

•   Court Services’ core function can be viewed as:

        –   The facilitation of the adjudication of criminal matters, the resolution of civil
            disputes, the addressing of family law related matters, improving the situation of
            vulnerable groups and the management of courts facilities;
        –   The coordination and alignment of departmental strategies and programmes in
            relation to courts within the JCPS cluster; and
        –   The monitoring and evaluation of the implementation of departmental policy in
            relation to courts.

   Linking budget to strategy

    In line with the DOJCD goals of –

    1. Ensuring access to justice for all
    2. Enhancing Organizational Efficiency and
    3. Transforming Justice

    Court Services is dealing with its responsibilities and the funds allocated to it through the
    courts and the following Programmes at National Office:

        –   Programme Coordination and Court Support Services
        –   Court Performance
        –   Vulnerable Groups/ Family Advocacy
        –   Facility/Infrastructure Management

    The Office of the CFO and DG will deal with the budget aspects in more detail as the
    Court Services budget also includes the budget to the Regions

   JCPS CLUSTER ACTIVITIES

        –   In addition to the activities mentioned, Court Services also participates in the
            JCPS cluster activities through both the Development and JOINTS Committees

        –   In relation to the criminal justice system, the following main cluster priorities are
            receiving attention:

                •   Continuation of the implementation of IJS programmes, predominantly in
                    respect of modernising the justice system and improving the
                    management of persons and cases through the justice system chain;
                •   Improving the effectiveness of the Criminal Justice System, in part,
                    through a review of the Criminal Justice System;
                •   Reducing the backlog of cases pending trial and the related problem of
                    awaiting trial detainees;
                •   Dealing with sexual offences

        •   The Development Committee has facilitated, in addition to national intersectoral
            engagement, the establishment of provincial and local committees

•   Integration of Systems of the IJS departments

    Through the Development Committee, the following Integration initiatives are continuing:
        – CAS and Workflow system of the Legal Aid Board (LAB)
               • An electronic notification is send from the CAS (SAPS) system to the
                   Legal Aid Board System notifying them that an accuse require Legal Aid
                                                                                               4
                        Assistance. On this trigger the Legal Aid Board will arrange for a Legal
                        Aid Officer to take the necessary forms to be completed by the accused
                        to the Police Station whom send the electronic notification/alert.

           –   CAS and E-scheduler
                  • This integration is to facilitate the electronic     transfer of docket
                     information (e.g. Particulars of Complainant, the Accused, the charge)
                     from the CAS (SAPS) system to the E-Scheduler (Case Management
                     Solution of DOJ&CD)

           –   E-scheduler and Admission &Release (A&R)
                   • This integration will facilitate the electronic transfer of postponement
                      dates for people in prison from the E-Scheduler System to the A&R
                      system of DCS

           –   CAS and CRIMM Systems (SAPS)
                  • This is to ensure that there is a link between the CAS system where the
                     case registration particulars are stored and the Crimm System (CRIM)
                     where the criminal history of an accused is stored.

           –   Integration of the following solutions -
                   • CRIM (SAPS) and Admission & Release (A&R) system of DCS
                   • HANIS system (Home Affairs) with the IJS Systems
                   • Access to AFIS (Automatic Fingerprint Identity System), NPIS (National
                        Photographic System) and the Live Scan (digitized way of taking
                        fingerprints i.s. o. using ink as is currently the case) will be available to all
                        participating departments to do either fingerprint or mugshot verification


3. COURT SERVICES APPROACH FOR 2008

   •   Continuation of implementing the MTSF of the DOJCD

   •   Business Unusual Activities – see annexure

   •   Focus on specific high level activities (in conjunction with Regions) such as –
          – Family Advocacy, Maintenance and child justice aspects, ADR
          – Monitoring and improving Court performance – though finalisation of roll-out of e-
              scheduler (including scanning solution/ roll-out of backlog reduction project sites
              / finalisation of roll-out of digital recording services / improving transcription
              services
          – Facility management projects and RAMP
          – Improving budget expenditure and project management

4. ACHIEVEMENTS IN 2007; PRIORITIES FOR 2008

1. PRO-POOR COURT FACILITIES DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM

Court Services has continued to develop capacity at rural and previously disadvantaged areas.
In this regard the following courts have been completed and are ready for official opening this
year:

              Daveyton
              Randburg
              Middledrift
              Sekgosese
              Pretoria North
              Waterval

Facility management has indicated that building will also be finalized in the next six months
regarding the following courts:
                                                                                                       5
The Department will this year complete the construction of the following 5 courts and 5 additions/
conversions to existing courts:

            Tsakane Magistrate court
            Mitchells Plain Magistrate court
            Richmond Magistrate court
            Augrabies Magistrate court
            Polokwane High Court interim
            Stanger Magistrate court
            Colesberg Magistrate court
            Kagiso Magistrate court
            Ekangala Magistrate court

In addition the development process for the following facilities will start in the next 6 months:

The Department has also commenced with the development process for the following courts:
        Soweto Magistrate court (Prioritised)
        Mamelodi Magistrate court
        Ntuzuma Magistrate court
        High court for Mpumalanga (Priority)
        High court for Limpopo (Priority)
        Judicial Training Institute Campus

A Central Archive System is also being addressed (The Tender for a service provider closed 1
February 2008 and evaluation and awarding is currently receiving attention. The tender will be
for 6 months at 2 pilot sites (Pretoria and Krugersdorp) for proof of concept with roll out based on
proof of concept)

EXPENDITURE WAS OCCURRED IN THE FOLLOWING REGARD IN ORDER TO IMPROVE
THE CONDITIONS AND INFRASTRUCTURE AT SERVICE DELIVERY POINTS

Capital Works                R333 622M

RAMP                         R 71 000M

Accommodation Charges R125 630M

Leases                       R124 138M

Municipality Charges         R95 174M
Day to Day Maintenance       R22 000M

GG and Judges Vehicles R30 306M

Upgrading of                 R40 280M
Infrastructure
TOTAL                        R842 150M

    •    Courts have been made available in the following urban development nodes:
         Mdantsane, Inanda, Khayelitsha, Mitchell’s Plain, Motherwell

    •    A total of 282 courts are now registered on RAMP and are in various stages of
         execution:
             • Status quo reports                     : 187
             • Planning to go out on tender           : 8
             • Repair phase                           : 5
             • Maintenance (including the follow-ons) : 82

    •    Capital works:
               New facilities were completed in Motherwell, Sekgosese and Daveyton
                                                                                                    6
    o   Major extensions were completed in Theunissen and Ceres

    o   Projects where construction is in progress (multi year projects) include – new
        accommodation:
                  • Tsakane Branch Court
                  • Polokwane High Court (Interim Seat)
                  • Augrabies MO
                  • Ekangala MO
                  • Kagiso MO
                  • Galeshewe MO

    •   Major extensions court buildings (multi year projects) include:
                   • Stanger MO
                   • Mitchells Plain MO
                   • Richmond MO
                   • Colesberg MO
                   • Supreme Court of Appeal

    •   4 sites acquired for construction of new facilities for courts

    •   462 courts were provided with facilities for people with disability

    •   Improvement of accessibility for people with disability
           – Completed                 = 10
           – In construction           = 86
           – Planning                  = 366


    •   Re-demarcation of Magisterial Districts
           – As part of the review process meetings have been held with various role-
              players in each province to review those cross-border magisterial districts
              in order to agree in principle the way forward. The objective is to finalize
              the re-demarcation process during the 2007/08 financial year.


2. COURT PERFORMANCE

COURT EFFICIENCY MEASURES AND ACTIVITIES

Court Services has been engaged with various initiatives to promote efficiency in courts. Some of
the initiatives are enumerated and reflected hereunder.

Resourcing and capacitation of courts to improve court management is continuing and includes,
amongst others,
    Incremental implementation of the model court organisation structure (as approved by the
       DG);
    The upgrading of language services and the accommodation of foreign languages used
       in courts. (A proposal on Translation Services detailing the approach towards a full
       package language services for courts including foreign language is currently under
       consideration.)
    Modernization of court systems (DCRS, etc) is continuing
    Traditional Courts policy and legislation was fast tracked – Bill approved by Cabinet
    Transformation of Sheriffs’ Profession has been prioritized and policy is currently
       receiving attention
    Planning for the finalization of the Redemarcation of magisterial districts in 4 phases is
       being dealt with in conjunction with the Regional Heads and the Ministry
    Civil jurisdiction for regional courts – Bill and implementation planning has received
       attention.


                                                                                               7
1.      DIGITAL COURT RECORDING SYSTEM (DCRS)

The DCRS system was procured during 2006 from Dimension Data to replace the analog
recording facilities being utilized in the courts with a digital infrastructure for the purposes of
utilising technology advancements and optimizing associated transcription services. The scope of
this project rendered the service provider, Dimension Data to provide, install and maintain digital
court recorders to each court room in the Department in keeping with the requirements for
recording audio of court proceedings digitally. The national roll out to all courts commenced in
November 2006 which was followed by the procurement and training of resources to operate the
court recorders. The recruitment process was facilitated and coordinated by the Branch: Human
Resources. A total of 2 430 recorders were procured for the Department. The table below
reflects the number of recorder deployed to date:

DEPLOYMENT OF DCRS COURT RECORDING MACHINES

Total recorders installed/deployed                            1843

Total deployed to regions for training purposes               132

Total of units still with Dimension Data                       455

Total recorders procured                                       2430


DCRS Enhancements - When the tender (RFB 2006 1A) was awarded to Dimension Data it was
later established that the system was incomplete. The systems deployed in the lower courts were
the basic standalone recorders that provided only digital recording of cases only, stored for a
maximum period in the recorder hard drive to 7 months. In the high courts the system was slightly
advanced with the inclusion of a one year storage server situated centrally in each court house
where all cases from the various court rooms were electronically streamed to the server. The risk
to this situation was that data would have been lost and as a direct consequence of this risk a
data back-up device for each recorder was procured for data capture and storage in Regional
Servers. As at 30 April 2008, 1488 lower courts back up solutions was installed and this
project will be finalized by the end of June 2008.

The sexual offences courts were not able to function with the new digital recording system due to
the non-compatibility of the digital vs the analogue existing CCTV systems. In this regard a total
of 273 such court were affected. The approval has been obtained for the interconnectivity to
all these courts. At 30 April 2008, interconnectivity has been established at 81 courts.
Project scheduled to be completed by end June 2008. Another challenge experienced was
the poor quality of recordings made in these recorders. In order to address this defect
headphones were procured for installation to all recorders to enable the operators to monitor
recording inputs. The headphones deployment is expected to conclude in May 2008. As at 30
April 2008, a total of 1659 headphone solutions were already installed to recorders. The table
below is a summary of the roll out of the CCTV system, the Operator Headphone Monitoring
Solution and Lower Court Back Up facility as on 30 April 2008.

                                                                           Sexual    Offences
                                  Headphone             Back-up            Courts
 High Courts                      158                   0                  13
 Eastern Cape                     220                   218                10
 Western Cape                     222                   220                7
 KZN                              274                   271                8
 Freestate                        147                   147                8
 Gauteng                          292                   286                23
 North West                       81                    81                 7
 North Cape                       65                    65                 4
 Limpopo                          112                   112                1
 Mpumalanga                       88                    88                 0
                                                                                                 8
 Totals                           1659                    1488               81

High Court On-site Technical Lead Resources were also resourced and provided to 13 High
Courts. These resources main functions are to support and ensure that the technical and
operational integrity of the recordings made on the digital recording system be maintained and to
manage the solution and operational procedures.

Central Archive Record Storage - During the initial roll out it also became evident that a Central
Archive for the High Courts would be necessary to manage all stored data in an efficient manner.
This back-up system would not only ensure that the required data is archived and managed
properly.

Key stakeholders (SITA, Telkom and Dimension Data, Court Services and ISM) have been
engaged to investigate the best possible option to give effect to the Departments storage of
recorded data centrally. Proposals that have been submitted are currently being reviewed.


Administration Clerks –
Approval for the appointment of 1787 administration clerks has been secured. The process
is currently in the hands of the Regional HR directors to advertise shortlist and appoint. It is
envisaged that a clerk for every court room will be appointed and these clerks will not only
operate the recorders but will give proper effect to court and case flow management by providing
a range of services in the courts and ensuring that all court related functions within the court room
is given full effect. All DCRS clerks were initially appointed on contract basis pending the
Departments process of creating posts. At the time of initial appointments each clerk was
subjected to an intensive training on the DCRS system, followed by a 70% threshold assessment
and an interview with relevant Regional HR officials. The clerks were provided with user manuals
and this was followed up by a National Office initiative to adequately train functional trainers in
each province for support to struggling operators. This was further followed up with the
development of a Standard Operating Manual on the DCRS system which was forwarded to all
regional offices for dissemination to all clerks. The manual was also simultaneously posted on the
Department’s website, DJINI.


2.        AUDIO VISUAL POSTPONEMENT PROJECT

The project obtained its basis from the initial Criminal Justice Review quick-fix recommendation to
explore the use of technology as a means to fast track the enormous number of postponements
that were crippling the smooth operations in our courts. The SALRC finalised a Report in July
2003, recommending legislation pertaining to audio-visual remands, under Project 113. The
concept was thereafter researched and the video remand system introduced for the first time in
Kwa-Zulu Natal during 2005 linking two separate courts to a single Correctional Centre. The
contract was facilitated by SITA and the award for the provisioning and support of the equipment
was made to Digital Voice Processing.

The postponements were conducted by utilising a close-circuit television system linking the two
centres and streaming live audio-visual inputs in both directions. During the pilot phase this
system provided tremendous impact to the number of cases processed and the speed at which
the postponements occurred. The associated benefits in terms of security, costs, administration,
resources and time had been unmatched. This system proved to have enormous value which
added huge benefits to all related stakeholder Departments within the Criminal Justice System.

The project objectives include facilitating the use of technology to remand matters that daily clog
our court rolls without the awaiting trial detainee leaving the correctional facility. This would also
give rise to simplification of administrative processes as well as improving the efficiency of our
courts.
Many detainees are transported to courts daily merely for the purpose of a postponement of their
case, either for further investigation of the case, legal representation or other quasi


                                                                                                    9
judicial/administrative reasons. These postponements rarely take more than three minutes of
court time.

In an analysis at the Durban Magistrates Court it was found that 85% of awaiting trial detainees
conveyed to the court on a daily basis fall in the postponement category. Apart from the high cost
of transportation of detainees to and from court, the lengthy procedure of booking detainees in
and out of Correctional Centres and the court holding cells, these factors impact on the starting
time of courts as result of the late arrival of detainees, the number of staff required to guard
detainees and to perform various administrative tasks.
The system is designed to afford the detainees’ family and friends the opportunity to follow
proceedings at the court where the system will provide a full view of the proceedings from the
remote point to all persons present.
Benefits: There are many benefits realized by the use of the video remand system for the
Criminal Justice System some of which are listed hereunder:
         Reduction of transportation and costs – an impact study conducted over a period of
            six months in KZN after the initial launch of the video remand system in 2005
            reflected that the average cost savings from the daily detainee transportation and
            meals as well as SAPS resources to perform the functions amounted to
            approximately R175 000 per month.
         Reduction in security risks within the court and the prevention of potential escapes
            during transit to and from court. Smuggling of items from the outside world
            threatening security in the Correctional Centre is reduced.
         Reduction in numbers of SAPS and DCS officials guarding inmates.
         Reduction in the number of persons at the magistrate courts at any given time.
         Shortened turnaround times to conduct postponements.
         Reduced administration at holding cells and correctional facility.
         System provides for the postponement of a range of cases, for further investigation,
            formal bail application, legal aid, etc.
         Accused granted unopposed bail resulting in the speedy release of accused.
         Bail previously set is reduced allowing the detainee to be released without further
            delays.
         Cases withdrawn results in the speedy release of accused.
         Sec 63A of the CPA inter alia provides for bail reduction applications.
         Accused is introduced to a legal representative


System Utilization – To date 6225 cases have been processed in the KZN project.

Constitutional/Legislative Imperatives

Amendments to the legislation which provides for the creation of an enabling environment and the
utilization of the system is yet to be finalised and a cabinet memorandum together with the draft
Video Remand Bill version 6.0 has been prepared for submission to the Minister. It is envisaged
that the amendment to the legislation will be reviewed during the 2008 Parliamentary year.

Roll Out / Implementation Status - Due to the impact and favorable support the system
received across most circles, the project has been considered for national roll-out and
implementation during the 2008/2009 financial year. The processes have already commenced
and a total of 47 courts with 36 aligned Correctional Centres have been identified for deployment.
The necessary stakeholders, i.e. Telkom, DPW, DCS, and SITA have been engaged with and the
award to the tender for the supply, installation and maintenance of the system, will be made
shortly.

Attached below is a detail list of courts aligned to the Correctional Centres identified for
deployment in two phases. The first phase will focus on those identified sites that require the least
refurbishments to the deployment sites which is expected to be concluded within the 2008/09
year and the second phase comprise major refurbishment requirements which will be deployed
as the sites are prepared.



                                                                                                  10
Video Remand Solution Roll Out Phase 1
Number    Court            Correctional centre                           Cubicles/Remote
                                                                         Points
1          East London       1.East London     (1   Cubicles/Remote      1
2          Mdantsane         Points)
3          Port Elizabeth    2.St Albans (Port Elizabeth)           (2   2
4          New Brighton      Cubicles/Remote Points)
5          Uitenhage
6          Pretoria 1        8.Pretoria(3 Cubicles/Remote Points)        3
7          Pretoria 2
8          Temba
9          Pretoria North
10         Ga-rankuwa
11         Durban            10.Durban (2 Cubicles/Remote Points)        2
12         Pinetown
13         Umlazi
14         Verulam
15         Bellville         20. Goodwood (1 Cubicles/Remote
                             Points)                                     1
16         Cape town         21.     Pollsmoor(Cape  Town) (6            6
17         Khayelitsha       Cubicles/Remote Points)
18         Wynberg
19         Athlone
20         Blue Downs
21         Mitchells Plein
Total      21                Totals                                      15


Video Remand Solution Roll Out Phase 2
                                                                                 Cubicles/Remote
Number     Court                Correctional centre
                                                                                 Points
1          Mthatha              3.Mthatha(1 Cubicles/Remote Points)              1
2          Alberton             4.Boksburg(2 Cubicles/Remote Points)             2
3          Boksburg
4          Germiston
5          Johannesburg         5.Johannesburg(4 Cubicles/Remote Points)         4
6          Wynberg
           (Gauteng)
7          Hillbrow
8          Orlando
9          Randburg
10         Soweto
11         Krugersdorp          6.Krugersdorp(2 Cubicles/Remote Points)          2
12         Roodepoort
13         Benoni               7.Modderbee     (Benoni)(2    Cubicles/Remote    2
14         Kempton Park         Points)

15         Thembisa

                                                                                           11
 16           Vereeniging            9.Vereeniging (1 Cubicles/Remote Points)           1
 17           Sebokeng
 18           Ladysmith              11.Ladysmith (1 Cubicles/Remote Points)            1
 19           Pietermaritzburg       12. Pietermaritzburg (1 Cubicles/Remote
                                     Points)                                            1
 20           Nelspruit              13. Nelspruit(1 Cubicles/Remote Points)            1
 21           Evander                14. Bethal(1 Cubicles/Remote Points)               1
 22           Thohoyandou            15 .Thohoyandou(1 Cubicles/Remote Points)          1
 23           Kimberley              16. Kimberley (1 Cubicles/Remote Points)           1
 24           Bloemfontein           17. Bloemfontein(1Cubicles/Remote Points)          1
 25           Kroonstad              18. Kroonstad (1 Cubicles/Remote Points)           1
 26           Paarl                  19. Allandale     (Paarl)   (1   Cubicles/Remote
                                     Points)                                            1
 Total        26                     Totals                                             21


3.       TRANSCRIPTION SERVICES
In its endeavor to meet its Constitutional obligations the Department of Justice and Constitutional
Development committed itself to providing efficient transcriptions of court recordings.
Transcription services to provide for all the courts countrywide were procured and are currently
performed by service providers outside the Department as an outsourced entity.

The contract to provide Transcription services for all nine regions was approved by the Director
General and awarded for a continuous period of three years commencing 1 June 2006 until 31
May 2009.

The list of service providers per province is as follows:

         Region                      Service Provider
         Kwazulu Natal               Sneller- DVP Consortium
         Gauteng                     Set – LK Consortium
         Northern Cape               Transcription Africa Consortium
         North West                  Transcription Africa Consortium
         Eastern Cape                Ikamva Veritas Consortium
         Western Cape                Veritas Legal Transcriptions Consortium
         Mpumalanga                  Vishnu Munilall & Associates
         Limpopo                     Krino Transcription (temporary)
         Free State                  Krino Transcription

An approved Service Level Agreement is in place to assist the project on Transcriptions with
support and maintenance on the operation and technical issues raised by operators from time to
time. The SLA has been forwarded to all Regional Offices for the assistance of Court Operation
Directors to monitor and give proper effect to the contractual management of the Transcription
Services and its associated operations and also to ensure that issues are dealt with adequately
and timely.

CASE FLOW MANAGEMENT (CFM)

Case Flow Management has been introduced in our courts since 2002 as an initiative to monitor
the flow of cases, from the point of initiation through to finalization. The system has been
introduced as a way of changing perception on public confidence in the justice system which had
been severely tarnished prior to democratization. Issues that gave rise to the lack of confidence
include the following: A high rate of uncontrolled postponements of matters at court,
               Many lost or missing files and charge sheets resulting in cases/court rolls
                  collapsing,


                                                                                                   12
                Court rolls lack integrity with the result that witnesses and legal representatives
                 do not take court dates seriously,
                Lack of co-operation from relevant role-players and absence of a common
                 system vision,
                Lack of accountability throughout the system resulting in loss of productivity due
                 to non value adding activities to the court system,
                Criminal courts experiencing most serious problems with protracted delays in
                 finalizing cases.

An initiative to develop common CFM objectives was adopted and published in a CFM supporting
manual, Practical Guide; Court and Case Flow Management for South African Lower Courts.
Some of the objectives include the following: To
          Adopt measures aimed at ensuring that the judiciary maintains control of case flow
              and management of proceedings in court,
          Secure the commitment from all role players in the application of an integrated case
              flow management system as a standard business practice,
          Foster accountability by implementing mechanisms to ensure compliance with
              performance standards for all the role players,
          Enhance efficiency by implementing processes aimed at ensuring the functioning of
              legal and administrative procedures in a timely fashion,
          Encourage prosecution driven investigation by SAPS,
          Ensure that legal aid is available before the first appearance of the accused,
          Reduce the number of awaiting trail prisoners in custody,
          Regard every court appearance as an opportunity to finalize the matter, and to
              finalize matters within 6 months of enrolment in District or Regional courts,
          Instill public confidence in the judicial system and to ensure that justice is equally and
              timely available to all persons.

Future Plans - Training / Empowering Magistrates to adopt leadership roles in the courts to
support CFM. Based on the outcome of the National Case Flow Management Audit conducted by
the judiciary, the efforts of two of the LCMC Sub- Committees (Training and Case Flow
Management) were combined. Justice College has been approached to facilitate the workshops
which are expected to commence in May 2008. A range of discussion areas have been
highlighted to assist magistrates, both Regional and District, in adopting a judicial leadership role
and ensuring that full effect is given to CFM in his/her respective court. Some of the discussion
points include the following:
                  Providing an understanding of the challenges for different stake holders in
                   court and case flow management
                  Discussing judicial roles in court and case flow management
                  Obtaining an understanding of the judiciary’s viewpoints
                  Making collective efforts to explore possible solutions, including diversion and
                   restorative justice
                  Providing an overview of the LCMC guidelines on court & case flow
                   management, motivating and encouraging participants to apply the guidelines
                  Explaining the motivation for and principles of court & case flow management
                  Discussing the impact of judicial leadership, judicial responsibility and judicial
                   accountability on the role of the judicial officer, with specific reference to court
                   and case flow management
                  Providing an overview of the current state of court & case flow management in
                   the Western Cape where the concept is found to be working well (best practice
                   model)
                  Providing participants with the opportunity to reflect on their own court and
                   case flow management
                  Highlighting challenges faced by regional and district magistrates and exploring
                   solutions on how to deal with these challenges
                  Motivating and encouraging participants to seek innovative and creative
                   solutions for the challenges they face.



                                                                                                    13
Expectations - The initiatives reflected in the judicial audit will be aggressively accelerated by
Court Performance in conjunction with Justice College to empower and train magistrates in giving
proper and full effect to court and case flow management. This exercise will contribute favourably
towards reducing case backlogs that has been the primary cause for stifling progress within the
courts and denting severely the image of the Department.

3. LAY ASSESSORS SYSTEM

The lay assessor system was introduced to comply with the Constitutional mandate relating to the
involvement of communities in judicial matters other than judicial officers in court decisions.
Parliament deemed it important to further entrench and promote community participation in the
administration of justice in order to restore the legitimacy of the courts in the eyes of the public.
The Magistrates Court Amendment Act, 1998 was passed for the utilization of lay assessors.
Section 93 ter of the Magistrates Court Act 32 of 1944 has been amended to remove the
discretionary powers of judicial officers to provide for the utilization of assessors. Draft
regulations have been amended in accordance with the Deputy Ministers views, as well as other
suggestions received from role players as indicated below:
     Limit system to murder and rape in regional courts.
     Obtain statistics with regard to number of murder and rape cases in regional courts.
     Act must provide for implementation in respect of courts and these courts must be ready
         when Act is implemented.
     Act must state that assessors’ duty is a civic duty and community service.
     Business and Department of Labour must be approached to discuss issues regarding
         assessor’s duty by professional employed members of society. Matters such as leave for
         duty for at least 1 case a year must be canvassed and the listing of assessor’s duty as an
         essential service should be investigated. Furthermore employers must be informed and
         employees protected.
     System must be run by the Department through the establishment of a directorate or
         directorates in the areas to specifically deal with the assessors’ system. Resource
         requirements in this regard must be investigated.
     In view of assessor’s duty being a civic duty and community service it should be
         investigated that assessors are only reimbursed for expenses incurred in rendering such
         service rather than receiving allowances for hours in court.

The Amendment Bill should provide for a phased-in implementation approach rather than for
implementation by way of pilot projects.

4. LANGUAGE SERVICES


South Africa as stated in the Constitution Act has eleven (11) official languages, namely; Sepedi,
Sesotho, Setswana, IsiSwati, Tshivenda, Xitsonga, Afrikaans, English, IsiNdebele, IsiXhosa and
IsiZulu. All these languages according to the Constitution of South Africa 1996 must enjoy parity
of esteem and must be treated equally. Section 35(3)(k) of the Constitution has a bearing on the
language usage in courts in that the accused person must be tried in the language that he or she
understands, or if that is not practicable, to have the proceedings interpreted in that language.
Section 30 of the Constitution refers to rights enjoyed by the South African communities in the
exercise and participation of their cultural life in general as a choice. Section 6(2) of the
Constitution provides that recognizing the historically diminished use and status of the indigenous
languages of our people, the State must take practical and positive measures to elevate the
status and advance the use of this languages.

Section 3(a) of the Constitution provides as follows:

 “The national government and provincial government may use any particular official language for
the purpose of government taking into account usage, practicality, expense, regional
circumstances and the balance of the needs and preferences of the population as whole in the
province concerned; but the national government and each provincial government must use at
least two official languages.”

                                                                                                  14
The law that is being interpreted in courts is foreign to the indigenous populations of South Africa
(Roman Dutch, English Law) has concepts of law that are non existent in any of the African
languages. Most of the present judicial officers in the country learnt the law in English and
Afrikaans, and all legal literature is still only in the two named languages. The question of
language of record in the South African courts remains a very thorny issue in the sense that as it
is now the reality is that more than 80% of cases that go for litigation rely on the service of a court
interpreter.
An important issue that needs to be taken into consideration is that coming up with the language
of record will not result with the Minister passing a Bill in Parliament, but will involve a process of
consultation more than an event. In terms of the Constitutional principles, the goals of language
policy in our country currently are as follows: the promotion of multilingualism, promotion of
national unity, the entrenchment of democracy in line with the protection of language rights, the
promotion of respect for tolerance towards different linguistic backgrounds and cultures and the
development or modernization of African languages.

It is against this backdrop that when considering the language of record that we take into
cognizance these issues which are constitutionally enshrined. The principles mentioned above
underline the process of nation-building and pro-democracy practice. This flies against the choice
between English or Afrikaans as the language of record, but at the same time it doesn’t call for
the diminishing of their statuses in favor of one of the previously disadvantaged languages.

A learnership for Court Interpreters has been developed and will be rolled out with effect from 18
February 2008. Free State University has been appointed as the Service Provider. The
learnership has been evaluated at NQF level 5 with 240 credits. The unit standards have been
developed by Cool Ideas and registered with SAQA. A total of 100 learners 10 of which are
unemployed learners, are currently undergoing training for a period of two years. Three sites for
contact session have been identified as follows: Bloemfontein, Cape Town, and Pretoria.
Learners undergoing the contact session have clustered as follows: Gauteng, Limpopo,
Mpumalanga and North West will attend the contact sessions in Pretoria, Free State, Kwa Zulu-
Natal and Northern Cape goes to Bloemfontein, and Eastern Cape, Western Cape attend in Cape
Town.

6.       Justice Management Information System (JMIS)

JMIS is a Management Information System (Business Intelligence solution) that was initiated by
court services in 2005. Development of the solution was concluded in 2006. JMIS provides a
centralised data warehouse for all the departmental information resources. What this means is
that JMIS harvest (pull) its information or data from the department’s business systems (i.e. e-
Scheduler, JDAS, ICMS-still in development stages). JMIS therefore provides a common
integration platform for all the departments various information resources. JMIS is meant to
provide the departments management with updated, daily, monthly and annual court statistics
that will aide with better management and decision making. The system;
        Is web-based and therefore can be accessed anywhere by users
        Provides secure user access in terms of security
        Allow for management of courts using statistics
        Provides capability of integrating into other repositories of case data
        Allow for reporting at case, court, regional, and national level
        Provides capability of representing data for statistical analysis
        Cater for updated accurate daily, monthly, annual reporting
        Provides for different user levels (professional and standard version)

There are about 300 users registered on the system. Access to the system is limited to
employees with managerial responsibility. The users range from National Office (court services
senior managers and some support staff, some ISM staff), regional office management (regional
heads, directors and area court managers), magistrates and prosecutors. All regional offices
management has been trained to use the system. The training will be extended to the magistrates
                                                                                                    15
and prosecutors as soon as the system is fully developed in terms of accurately aligning the
reports from the e-scheduler to JMIS.

7.       DOCUMENT MANAGEMENT SYSTEM
Court Services (CS) engaged in an initiative together with donor funding of the Criminal Justice
Strengthening Programme (CJSP) to provide for a scalable and robust solution to manage the
Departments documents and workflow processes. During 2006 CJSP went on tender and
appointed a service provider, Mokgabo Matlole (JV) consultants to conduct a comprehensive
business analysis on the Departments workflow processes; however the analysis was restricted
to the criminal environment only. The analysis was performed at the following magistrate’s courts:
Johannesburg, Durban, East London, Kempton Park and Molopo.

Future Plan - An investigation revealed that a system recently designed and developed for use
at the offices of the NPA would benefit the courts administrative processes immensely, especially
in the larger centres which experience workflow in enormous volumes. As the system will be
scalable it could be enhanced incrementally to meet new and additional requirements which will
ultimately provide the court with the much required and an all inclusive document management
system.

8.       CASE BACKLOG REDUCTION PROJECT

The aforementioned project was initiated as a result of the realization of the high level of case
backlogs in the country. It was realized that there are too many cases that are not being finalized
speedily enough on the court roll. Since the project was initiated tremendous progress has been
noticed despite the challenges that have been encountered in centres that were identified as pilot
sites.
    • BACKLOGS summary:

           – HC Outstanding cases: 1325
         Backlog: 217 (15%)
           – RC Outstanding cases: 50291
         Backlog: 17227 (34%)
           – DC Outstanding cases: 178433
         Backlog: 20 962(12%)

     •   PERFORMANCE OF THE HIGH COURTS (Apr 07 – March 08):
            – Outstanding Cases: The outstanding rolls in the High Courts increased
              from a National total of 1139 cases at the end of March 2007 to a total of
              1325 cases at the end of March 2008.
            – A total number of 217 cases have been on the High Court rolls for a longer
              period than twelve months which means that 15% of cases are older than
              12 months (backlog)

     •   PERFORMANCE OF THE LOWER COURTS
            – Compared to the previous year the outstanding roll in the Lower courts has
              been increased from 205 369 to 228 724 at the end of March 08. This
              constitutes a significant increase of 11.4%.
            – Notwithstanding this the Lower courts have managed to keep their backlog
              cases under control and have even managed a marginal decrease of 1% in
              the number of backlog cases in general to just 38189 (17%).

 (District courts. The outstanding roll has increased with 17.8%, to 178 949 at the end of March
08. The backlog cases have increased with 22.3%, from 17 141 at the end of Q1 to 20 962 at the
end of Q4 (March 08)The Regional courts have managed a 4% reduction in the number of
backlog cases, although their outstanding roll has been increased marginally with 2.2%. At the
end of Q4 (March 08) the total outstanding cases were 50 291 which is 1 078 more cases than
the 49 213 cases outstanding at the end of Q1. The number of backlog cases has been reduced
with 718 cases, from 17945 cases recorded at the end of Q1 to a total of 17227 at the end of Q4
(March 08) which represents 34% of the total outstanding roll.)



                                                                                                16
The project has been in operation since 1 November 2006 focusing mainly on regional court
priority areas and certain high courts regarding outstanding appeals. Initially the project’s purpose
was to target cases older than 6 months from the first Regional Court date. The target has been
adjusted to cases older than 9 months from the first Regional Court date. The backlog courts only
deal with backlog cases and not new matters and they work as far as possible on a continuous
roll (thus limiting postponements) It should be noted that reducing the backlog of cases pending
trial is one of the key priority areas of government’s Justice, Crime Prevention and Security
(JCPS) cluster. The project is being dealt with as a strategic intervention through inter-sectoral
engagement with National Prosecuting Authority, Judiciary, Legal Aid Board and South African
Police Services.

After an initial start at 6 sites, for the best part of 2007, there were 21 fulltime additional regional
courts that functioned with the assistance from retired/ ex-magistrates/ Bar or attorneys’
appointments/ Additional prosecutors, legal aid representatives, court clerks, interpreters. Since
November 2007, 6 sites were in operation

–   The following progress has been made in the Lower Courts since November 2006 till
    the end of March 2008. The Project started in November 2006. At that point in time
    there was 47 343 cases outstanding in the regional courts of which 20 452 (43%) cases
    were outstanding for longer than 6 months. At the end of March 2008 the number of
    outstanding cases has increased to 49 195 cases, of which 16 862 (34%) were
    outstanding for longer than 9 months.
–   There are currently 27 sites in operation, and more such sites are currently under
    consideration to deal with the large number of outstanding cases and in particular the
    backlog cases in the regional courts. The project is still necessary and has largely
    been very successful.
–   Contract appointments have been extended for the next 3 months.

–   The backlog courts have sat on average 3h27 minutes per day since 1 Nov 2006 till the
    end of March 2008. They have received 5343 cases in total and finalized 4243 cases as
    follows:
        • Guilty: 3250 (78,5%) (of which 218 were as a result of plea bargains)
        • Not guilty: 889
        • Diversions: 32
        • Admission of Guilt: 72
–   Cases removed through re-screening and withdrawals were 1873. They also
    transferred cases to high courts for sentencing: 294 cases.
–   This brings the total number of cases permanently removed from the regional court
    rolls as a result of the backlog courts till the end of March 2008 to 6410 (comprising
    4243 cases finalized + 1873 withdrawn + 294 transferred).

Appeal Backlogs:

Both the NPA TPD office and the LAB Pretoria Justice Centre have outsourced the bulk of the
appeals on the special rolls to junior counsel at the bar, since there is not enough in-house
capacity to deal with it.

The arrangements in Pretoria for 2 special TPD Appeal courts with acting judges (comprising of
senior advocates from Pretoria and Johannesburg) to sit pro bono every Monday in Pretoria with
effect from 26 March 2007, has worked extremely well. All indications are thus that this project
has made a meaningful contribution in reducing the appeal backlog at Pretoria. The following
achievements can be highlighted:
         – Since 26 March 2007, till the end of Dec 2007, 593 additional appeals were enrolled
            via the TPD Special Appeal Court sessions. Of this number, 526 (88.7%)were
            finalised (58 (9%) were struck of the roll; 27 (4.6%) were withdrawn; 39 (6.6%)
            judgments were reserved; 93 (15.7 %) succeeded; whilst 297 (51%) failed).
         – The total of 526 appeals that were finalised between March 2007 and December
            2007 comprises about two thirds of the normal outstanding appeals at the Director of
            Public Prosecutions office.



                                                                                                     17
Further roll out to additional sites is planned – project to be aligned with CJS Review
process
In order to spread the impact of the backlog courts country-wide all Regional Court Presidents
were requested to interact with the Regional Heads of Justice, the DPPs, the SAPS and LAB
Provincial Heads in order to identify in terms of priority the sites for the further roll out of regional
backlog courts and to do the necessary arrangements and consultations in order to have the sites
that are identified ready for operations with effect from 1 November 2007 or as soon as they are
approved.

The project has utilized the following additional staff:
27 ex-magistrates, 34 prosecutors, 7 court preparation officers, 2 data capturers for the
prosecution services, 33 legal aid representatives either on contract or through judicare
appointments and 44 administrative support staff to establish additional capacity (including more
additional courts) to finalise long outstanding cases – especially on a regional court level

Improved efficiency also entailed improving through Case Flow Management the various
processes in the IJS value chain; and taking advantage of plea bargaining, alternative sentencing
and diversion to achieve this objective; align work relating to improved screening of cases and
liaison between the SAPS and NPA with the CJS Review


9.      E-SCHEDULER REPORT

Utilising electronic technology to assist in managing criminal matters enrolled on the court rolls
started with the Case Roll Management System (CRMS) in 2001. The functionality of the CRMS
was taken up into the e-scheduler of which the development commenced during August 2004.
The CRMS a stand alone distributed data base system was eventually phased out during March
2005. The greatest advantage of the e-scheduler was that it provided access to multiple users.

The E-Scheduler is a web based system which allows for access by all court users (Judiciary,
Prosecution and Court Support Services personnel) within the Department, based on a security
policy of open and view access. The criminal module of the system is currently being operated at
469 lower courts throughout the country:


         Eastern Cape Free State            Gauteng          KwaZulu-           Limpopo
                                                             Natal
         83               66                46               75                 38


         Mpumalanga            Northern Cape         North West            Western Cape
         36                    35                    34                    56

The following category and number of users have been given access to the e-scheduler
                Judiciary                         811
                Prosecution                       888
                Court Support Services 3216
                Total                            4915
The E-Scheduler (an electronic case flow management system) is one of the key projects
undertaken within the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development to improve the
management and productivity of the courts. The main objective with the system is:
• to provide for a tool to effectively manage the cases on the court rolls,
• to provide reliable statistics at the various management levels for decision support and more
   effective court management towards service delivery improvement,
• monitor trends in court productivity and other areas of service delivery in the court
   environment, and
• early identification of problem areas and devise means to assist courts that are experiencing
   problems with productivity.


                                                                                                      18
Converting e-scheduler to ICMS (integrated case management system) The user
requirements within the various court types necessitated evolving the e-Scheduler into the ICMS
which provides for a common case registration and case management system relating to criminal
and civil matters in the lower and high court environments together with the incorporation of a
scanning module that provides for the electronic capturing, storage and retrieval of documents
relating to cases.

The various ICMS modules currently provides for the following functionality:
    ICMS Criminal - Inter alia provides for the capturing of various case categories, case
        outcomes per accused, transfer of cases between the various court types, the splitting
        and the merging of cases.

       ICMS Civil - Phase 1 of the module provides for:
            Registration of civil cases at all magistrates courts countrywide.
            Allow for the scanning of civil documentation attached to every civil case.
            The scanning and registration process to be completed within 24 hours for all
              new cases and no backlog must be generated.
            The allocation of Unique Reference Numbers to every Civil case
            Providing statistics to the JMIS system

       ICMS High Court - Phase 1 of the module provides for:
            Case Registration allocating Unique Reference (URN) numbers to every case
              registered.
            Creation and updating of case participant records (judges, advocates, attorneys,
              plaintiffs, defendants etc.)
            Association of participants to cases and their roles in the context of the case
            Recording of the submission of litigation documents by the parties to the cases
            Scheduling of court cases and the provision of Court rolls
            Scanning of case related documentation as part of the URN of the case
            Statistical reports



PERFORMANCE OF THE HIGH AND LOWER COURTS DURING APRIL 2007 – MARCH 2008


HIGH COURTS

New Matters
The High Courts had a decrease in both newly received trial and minimum sentence matters. No
apparent reasons could be found for the decrease and with the new jurisdiction of Regional
Courts, no steps should perhaps be taken to increase the number of new cases as more appeals
would be forth-coming as the accused will have an automatic right of appeal when sentenced to
life imprisonment by a Regional Court. The impact of this legislation will need to be very closely
monitored.

                                          High Court New Matters

        2000                             1672
        1600                1344
                                                                           1076         1176
        1200
        800
        400
                               NEW TRIAL                                    NEW SECT 52
                                 CASES                                        CASES

                                                  2007'2008    2006/2007


                                                                                               19
Matters Finalised
The High Courts had a decrease in both trial and minimum sentence matters. During the
previous financial year, 2006/2007, an average of 2,88 cases were finalized per court whilst in the
current financial year only 2,37 cases were finalized on average per court. It took in 2007/2008
financial year, on average, 33 days longer to finalize trial matters; measured from date of first
appearance in the High Court until sentence is passed, compared to the previous financial year
when it took on average 165 days.

Although there are various factors contributing to the delays in finalization of cases, some of the
reasons were obtained from the results obtained during the annual audit on outstanding cases.
During the annual audit, the following impacting factors were noted, namely postponements
which have increased from the previous annual audit conducted in November 2006 (mentioned
first) to the November 2007 (mentioned second) audit includes postponements for plea
agreements (from 0 to 14 postponements), for consultations (from 0 to 7 postponements), for
logistical reasons e.g. electricity (from 0 to 20 postponements) and request by the defence (from
133 to 304 postponements. The load-shedding does not only affect the courts during session but
also impacts on preparation of cases – e.g. copies being made of dockets, consultations,etc.


                                      High Court Finalisation

  1400                                                                              1222
                                     1185
  1200                 1081                                           1041
  1000
    800
    600
    400
                      TRIALS FINALISED                              SECT 52's FINALISED

                                             2007'2008    2006/2007


 Court Hours
 The average court hours declined from 3:20 in the previous financial year to 3:16 in the current
 financial year. Although more courts were in session in relation to the previous year, an increase
 from 833 to 893 courts, and the number of court days have also increased from 8272 to 8464
 the court hours only increased marginally from 27 664:51 to 27 777:31, it resulted in a drop of
 four minutes in the average hours.

 Conviction rate
 The conviction rate in minimum sentence matters remained at 90%. The conviction rate of trial
 cases have increased by 5% from 86% in the previous financial year to 91% in the current year.




                                                                                                20
                                              COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS: 06/07 - 07/08
                                             HIGH COURT: TRIALS - CONVICTION RATE
  100%   94%                               94%                                                     99%
                     90%                                                                                     97%
                                                                    93%       91%          92%                         91%     91%
                                                           89%

                                     81%




   50%
          APR        MAY           JUN     JUL       AUG         SEP        OCT          NOV     DEC      JAN        FEB     MAR


                                                 2006/ 2007            2007/ 2008


Outstanding Roll
The outstanding rolls in the High Courts increased from a National total of 1139 cases at the end
of March 2007 to a total of 1325 cases at the end of March 2008. A total number of 217 cases
have been on the High Court rolls for a longer period than twelve months which means that 15%
of cases are older than 12 months.

LOWER COURTS
Keeping current with incoming caseload is an important element of optimal performance by a trial
court. The size of a court’s pending caseload is a key measure of the effectiveness of the court’s
case flow management efforts. Research has shown that the size of a court’s caseload of
pending cases, in relation to the number of dispositions per year, is strongly associated with
delay. Slow courts are almost always “backlogged” courts. In contrast, fewer pending cases per
court are strongly correlated with shorter times to disposition.

Court Hours
An overall reduction of 4.8% is noted in the average court hours achieved during ‘07/’08 financial
year compared to the average hours obtained in the previous financial year. The Lower Courts
have managed to maintain only an average of 3h48 during ‘07/’08, which is a 11 minute variance
from the average of 3h59 recorded during ‘06/’07. The District Courts averaged 3h51 hours
which constitute a 9 minute decline from the previous year and the Regional courts average 3h39
which represents a 16 minute decline from the average hours obtained during the previous year.


                                           LOWER COURTS: COURT HOURS




           04:01                                                                                 03:59
                           03:51                        03:55
                                                                                                             03:48
                                                                    03:39


               District Courts                           Regional Courts                          All Lower Courts
                                                 0607                             0708




                                                                                                                       21
                              LOWER COURTS: AVERAGE COURT HOURS

   04:04

   03:57
   03:50
                                                                                                 Q1
   03:43                                                                                         Q2
   03:36                                                                                         Q3
   03:28                                                                                         Q4

   03:21

   03:14
                          DISTRICT                                  REGIONAL



The Lower courts received a total of 1 035 111 cases during 07/08 financial year which
comprised of 949 368 first appearances and 85 743 recycled cases. Compared to the previous
financial year, 23 954 fewer cases were received during the current financial year. During 06/07 a
total of 967 034 first appearance cases were received by the Lower courts, constituting a
reduction of 2% in the enrollment of first appearances. A significant reduction of 6.8% is however
noted in recycled cases as 6 288 fewer cases were again re-enrolled during this financial year.


                                      LOWER COURTS: NEW CASES


                        92031
                                                                          85743


                        967034                                            949368


                         06/'07                                           07/'08
                                     1st App Cases       Recycled Cases



Compared to the total number of new cases received during 2006/2007, an overall reduction in
the enrollment of new cases is noted in each quarter of 2007/2008. The reduced inflow of new
cases in the Lower courts, noted in all four quarters, is mainly due to enhanced screening
processes. Other initiatives such as the NPA Project Clean-Up also assisted in this regard.


                                    QUARTERLY PROGRESS:
                                  LOWER COURTS - NEW CASES
    280000
    275000
    270000
    265000
    260000
                                                                                              2006
    255000
    250000                                                                                    2007
    245000
    240000
    235000
                      Q1                  Q2               Q3                 Q4



                                                                                               22
When the District and Regional Courts are analyzed separately, a similar trend is noted in the
inflow of new cases by the District courts. Fewer cases have been enrolled in all four reporting
periods and could be ascribed to the increased trend of courts to enroll cases earmarked for the
Regional courts directly in that forum.

The total number of new cases enrolled by the Regional courts has shown a different trend. All
four reporting periods have shown an increased inflow of new cases. During the first quarter a
significant increase of 10.8% is noted. In the second quarter 1.4% more cases were enrolled,
during the third quarter, 1.2% more cases were enrolled and during the fourth quarter, 2.2% more
cases were enrolled. The reasons for this increased inflow in new cases could be ascribed to the
fact that more Regional courts are adapting the Prosecutor Guided Investigation approach where
cases are directly enrolled in the Regional court to enable the Regional court prosecutor to
manage the prosecution of cases more effectively and efficiently.


                                    QUARTERLY PROGRESS:
                                 REGIONAL COURTS - NEW CASES
   22000
   21500
   21000
   20500
   20000                                                                                        2006
   19500                                                                                        2007
   19000
   18500
   18000
                   Q1                    Q2                Q3                  Q4



Finalisation rate
The Lower courts finalized a total of 386 715 cases during 2007/2008 financial year. Compared to
the 2006/2007 financial year (376 640), a total of 10 075 more cases were finalized during the
current financial year. This increased finalization rate could be ascribed to a focussed approach
on alternative dispute resolution methods in an effort to reduce trial cases.

The Lower courts have finalised on average 73 607 verdict cases per quarter during the
2007/2008 financial year and an average of 83 039 cases per quarter were finalised during
2006/2007 financial year. It is evident that ADR methods have successfully managed to reduce
trial cases as a total of 9 433 fewer trial cases are on average dealt with by the courts.


                             LOWER COURTS: FINALIZATION RATE




                                                                386715


                                376640




                                    2006                        2007



The District courts have finalized a total of 259 589 cases with a verdict during 2007/2008.
Compared to the total of 295 329 finalized during 2006/2007, a reduction of 12.1% is noted. ADR


                                                                                              23
methods are more likely to be applied to less serious cases hence the reduced finalization rate of
trial cases in the District Courts.

The Regional courts have finalized a total of 34 837 cases with a verdict during 2007/2008.
Compared to the total of 36 834 cases finalized during 2006/2007, a reduction of 5.4% is noted.
The recent audit on outstanding cases has shown that Regional court cases have more counts
and more accused per case. During 2006 audit a ratio of 2.6 counts per case and 1.5 accused
per case were determined. During the 2007 audit, a ratio of 3.8 counts per case and 1.6 accused
per cases was determined.

A delay in the finalization of cases is inevitable when there are more accused and more counts
per case.



                             QUARTERLY PROGRESS:
                  LOWER COURTS - FINALISED CASES WITH A VERDICT
    100000

     80000

     60000
                                                                                                2006
     40000
                                                                                                2007
     20000

           0
                      Q1                Q2                 Q3                 Q4



In both District and Regional courts a reduced finalization of verdict cases are noted. During
Quarter 4 the District courts have managed to finalize a total of 65 159 cases with a verdict which
are 2 951 more cases finalized than in Quarter 3.

The Regional courts have performed particularly well during this final Quarter. Despite various
power interruptions, they have still managed to finalize a total of 8 479 cases which are 40 more
cases than in the previous quarter. This improved performance could mainly be ascribed to the
additional assistance received from the Backlog courts.


                           QUARTERLY PROGRESS:
               REGIONAL COURTS - FINALISED CASES WITH A VERDICT
    12000
    10000
     8000
     6000                                                                                      2006
     4000                                                                                      2007
     2000
          0
                     Q1                 Q2                 Q3                Q4



In addition to the total of 73 638 cases finalized with a verdict, the Lower courts have also
finalized a total of 25 774 cases by means of alternative dispute resolution methods during
Quarter 4. A total of 1 550 more cases were finalized by means of ADR methods during Quarter
                                                                                                24
4, compared to the performance of the courts during Quarter 3, representing a 6.4%
improvement.

Conviction Rate
The Lower courts have maintained a high conviction rate during this financial year. The District
courts have exceeded their target of 85% with 2.4% by maintaining a conviction rate of 87.4%.
The Regional courts have also exceeded their target of 70% by achieving a conviction rate of
72.3%.


                                   LOWER COURTS: CONVICTION RATE



                                                                              72.5%
            Regional Court
                                                                              72.3%




                                                                                          87.6%
              District Court
                                                                                          87.4%



                                        0607            0708



During Quarter 4, the District courts have improved their conviction rate to 88.3%. This is the
highest rate recorded this financial year. They have therefore managed to improve the rate with
0.3% and have also exceeded their target of 85%.

                                             QUARTERLY PROGRESS:
                                       DISTRICT COURTS - CONVICTION RATE
              86.0%            86.5%           87.0%       87.5%          88.0%          88.5%


            Q1                                             87.4%

            Q2                                 86.9%
                                                                                                   2006
            Q3                                                                88.0%                2007

            Q4                                                                          88.3%



The Regional courts have also maintained their improved conviction rate. They have managed to
maintain a conviction rate of 72% during each quarter of this financial year.




                                                                                             25
                                   QUARTERLY PROGRESS:
                             REGIONAL COURTS - CONVICTION RATE
    70.0%                  71.0%                 72.0%                  73.0%


   Q1                                                                    72.9%

   Q2                                                      72.3%
                                                                                            2006
   Q3                                                                72.7%                  2007


   Q4                                                      72.3%




CASES FINALISED BY PLEA AND SENTENCE AGREEMENTS:

ANNUAL PROGRESS:

The number of plea and sentence agreements in terms of Section 105A of Act 51 of 1997, has
increased from 1081 agreements in 2006/2007 to 1250 agreements in 2007/2008. This
represents an improvement of 14% during 2007/2008. The total of 1250 agreements comprised
4785 counts.

CASES FINALISED BY ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE RESOLUTION:

ANNUAL PROGRESS:

More cases have been diverted during this financial year. At the end of Quarter 4, a total of 46
822 cases have been diverted which constitutes a 5.3% improvement from the total of 44483
diverted during previous financial year.

Since the beginning of 2007/2008 financial year, adult and juvenile diversions were separately
recorded. A total of 27 756 cases with adult offenders were diverted which represents 59.3% of
the total of 46 822 cases diverted. A total of 19 066 cases with juvenile offenders were diverted
representing 40.7% of the total diverted cases.



                                QUARTERLY PROGRESS:
                            LOWER COURTS - CASES DIVERTED
    10000
     8000
     6000
     4000
     2000
          0
                     Q1                 Q2                 Q3                   Q4
                              2007 JUVENILES         2007 ADULTS




                                                                                              26
In addition to the total number of cases diverted, the Lower Courts have also managed to resolve
15 394 cases by means of informal mediation and in a total of 30 073 cases admission of guilt
were paid.


                     LOWER COURTS: ADR FINALISATION RATE



                                                                 AG, 30073



                                                            Mediation, 15394


                                                              Adult Div, 27756
                Diversions, 44483
                                                               Juvenile Div,
                                                                  19066

                       2006                                         2007




                               QUARTERLY PROGRESS:
                           LOWER COURTS - ADR FINALISATION
    30000
    25000
    20000
    15000
    10000
     5000
         0
                    Q1                Q2                 Q3                    Q4

              2007 JUVENILES        2007 ADULTS        MEDIATION           AG (Sec 57)



CASES REMOVED FROM THE ROLL:

Fewer cases were removed from the roll during this reporting period compared to the previous
year. Noteworthy is the reduction in the number of cases transferred which indicates the notion of
courts to enroll more serious cases directly in the Regional courts.




                                                                                               27
                    LOWER COURTS: CASES REMOVED FROM THE ROLL


         SOR                           108172
                                      103709

   TRANSF                                   127788
                           53562

         W/A                                            180537
                                                          191884

         W/D                                                                         305948
                                                                                     305814

                        0708                 0607



   •     SOR = Struck of roll; Transf = Transferred to other/high courts; W/A = Warrant of
         Arrest; W/D = Withdrawn (There is currently an average of 15990 warrants issued
         per month in the Lower Courts.)

CASES WITHDRAWN

ANNUAL PROGRESS:

The Lower Courts have managed a marginal reduction in the number of cases withdrawn. At the
end of March 2008, 46.7% (305 814) of the total of 654 969 cases removed from the roll
comprised cases withdrawn. Although the Lower courts withdrew slightly fewer cases than in the
previous financial year (305 948), the total number of cases withdrawn represents a higher
percentage of the total cases removed from the roll.


                            LOWER COURTS: WITHDRAWAL RATE


  0607                                                                          305948




  0708                                   305814




The audit conducted on the reasons for the high withdrawals during September 2007 has shown
that the main reasons why prosecutors are withdrawing cases are:
          On request of the complainant;
          No prima facie case
          Witnesses absent or not properly subpoenaed; and
          Statements outstanding and witnesses not traced.




                                                                                           28
                               QUARTERLY PROGRESS:
                           LOWER COURTS: WITHDRAWAL RATE

                   6548
                  5935                                                                          Q4
   RC
                   6706                                                                         Q3
                   6591                                                                         Q2
                                                                                                Q1
                                                                                      73577
                                                                           63508
   DC
                                                                                68082
                                                                                        74867




WARRANTS OF ARREST

ANNUAL PROGRESS:

In a total of 191 884 cases, a warrant of arrest was issued for the non attendance of the accused.
This represents an increased rate of 6.3% compared to the total number of warrants (180 537)
issued during the previous year. At the end of March 2008, 28.2% of the total of 654 969 cases
removed from the roll comprised warrant cases.


                                      LOWER COURTS: WARRANTS ISSUED

           0607                                 180537




           0708                                                                                        191884


                                         0708                      0607




During the recent audit, the impact of warrant cases on the cycle times of cases was also
investigated. It is well known that warrant cases are a major cause for delay in the finalisation of
cases. There is currently an average of 15990 warrants issued per month in the Lower Courts.


                                 QUARTERLY PROGRESS:
                             LOWER COURTS: WARRANTS ISSUED
              3192
              2923
    RC
               3232
              3178


                                                                                        49246
                                                                          40768
    DC
                                                                              43066
                                                                                   46279

                    Q1       Q2         Q3          Q4


LOWER COURT: OUTSTANDING ROLL / BACKLOG

Compared to the previous year the outstanding roll in the Lower courts has been increased from
205 369 to 228 724 at the end of 2007/2008 financial year. This constitutes a significant increase
of 11.4%. Although a steep incline is noted in the outstanding roll, the Lower courts have

                                                                                                 29
managed to keep their backlog cases under control and have even managed a marginal
decrease of 1% in the number of backlog cases.


                              LOWER COURTS: OS ROLL / BACKLOG CASES

                        35961
  Backlogs
                        38189


                                                                                   205369
   OS Roll
                                                                                            228724

                         0708                    0607



A steep incline noted in the outstanding roll of the District courts. The outstanding roll has
increased with 17.8%, from 151 413 at the end of Q1 to 178 949 at the end of Q4. A matter of
concern is the steady rise in backlog figures. For the first time during this financial year, 12%
(20962) of the District court caseload comprised backlog cases exceeding the cycle time of 6
month! The backlog cases have increased with 22.3%, from 17 141 at the end of Q1 to 20 962 at
the end of Q4. A concerted effort is required from all role-players to improve the finalization of
cases.


                                    QUARTERLY PROGRESS:
                          DISTRICT COURTS: OS ROLL / BACKLOG CASES

                      20962
                    17421
   Backlogs
                    16414
                    17141


                                                                                           178433
                                                                                        171949
    OS Roll
                                                                            146538
                                                                              151413

                   Q1             Q2        Q3           Q4



The Regional courts have managed a 4% reduction in the number of backlog cases, although
their outstanding roll has been increased marginally with 2.2%. At the end of Q4 the total
outstanding cases were 50 291 which is 1 078 more cases than the 49 213 cases outstanding at
the end of Q1. The number of backlog cases has been reduced with 718 cases, from 17945
cases recorded at the end of Q1 to a total of 17227 at the end of Q4 which represents 34% of the
total outstanding roll.




                                                                                                30
                                   QUARTERLY PROGRESS:
                         REGIONAL COURTS: OS ROLL / BACKLOG CASES

                                       17227
                                      17121
  Backlogs
                                     16199
                                        17945


                                                                                      50291
                                                                                   48260
   OS Roll
                                                                                    49190
                                                                                    49213

                   Q1           Q2              Q3        Q4




FACTORS IMPACTING ON PERFORMANCE

            Electricity load shedding has major implications for all courts and will increase
             number of outstanding cases and backlog cases as court time can not be utilised
             optimally.

            CFM factors that were mentioned by Cluster Heads in their performance reports,
             include:
                  o Legal Aid Attorney unavailable or requested postponements to allow himself
                      to prepare his defence;
                  o Attorneys arrived late and at times they do not come at all ;
                  o Defective recording machines, air conditioners - due to extreme
                      temperatures the magistrates are refusing to work after 12h00. The court
                      manager is aware of this.
                  o Constant adjournments for other quasi judicial duties - only 1 magistrate
                      doing civil and other duties.
                  o Prisoners arrive late
                  o Court roll collapsed as witnesses were not warned
                  o Renovations at court buildings;
                  o Magistrate on suspension;
                  o Prosecutor's post vacant - poor roll planning;
                  o Roll collapse because of absence of witnesses;
                  o LAB available only on certain days of the week;
                  o Interpreters refuse to travel to and from periodical court seats outside official
                      work hours.




3.VICTIM SUPPORT & SPECIALISED SERVICES AND FAMILY ADVOCACY

       o     Mediation services and restorative justice programs are being promoted to
             strengthen social cohesion with emphasis on building family unity in the fight against
             crime. Aspects that have received attention and are continuing to receive attention
             includes the following:
             o Court services is in discussions with relevant service providers to bring in
                  expertise from credible service providers for training on mediation services and
                  restorative justice
             o Restorative Justice and ADR policy/strategy and implementation aspects is being
                  approached intersectorally and a Project manager was appointed


                                                                                                  31
    o   Restorative justice Guidelines and common standards workshops to be held in
        next few months
    o   Parental rights and responsibilities awareness raising sessions planned and
        information manual being developed.

o   Family Advocate Programmes have been prioritized (Capacitating and training of
    family advocacy services is receiving attention and training re mediation has been
    fast-tracked in conjunction with organized profession and service providers)

o   Victim support services have been prioritized (Aspects that have been receiving
    attention includes the following: Implementation plan and costing of Child Justice Bill;
    Implementation plans and costing of obligations in terms of Children’s Act, 2006;
    Development and implement plan and costing re Older Persons’ Act; Family law
    learnership manual finalised and disseminated for use in training re domestic
    violence; training of clerks scheduled; launch of magistracy guidelines on domestic
    violence is being planned; Development of maintenance guidelines for the judiciary is
    receiving attention; Mainstreaming of sexual offences courts framework and roll out
    of Thuthuzela Care Centres is being attended to; Automated register for sex
    offenders being developed;
o   Establishment of the remaining 200 Small Claims Court so that all magisterial are
    covered, is being fast tracked.
o   Designation and training re final 152 Equality courts are being attended to. These
    designations shall bring the total number of existing 218 Equality Courts to 366
    Magisterial Districts as prescribed in terms of the Departments of Justice MTSF
    document. The proclamation of the Equality Act has been translated into the 11
    official languages as prescribed in terms of section 31 of the Equality Act. To
    strengthen the operation of Equality Courts, the Department has facilitated the
    appointment of a service provider to compile a template and audit on infrastructural
    and human resources that are available in the existing 218 Equality Courts in the
    Regions. The service provider has collated a monitoring and evaluation tool that is
    guided by the minimum standards on the human and infrastructural resources
    required within Equality Court. The rationale of the audit would be to capacitate the
    court with the required resources. The Department will provide a detailed report once
    the audit has been finalised. The trends of cases over the past five year period are
    as follows:

             Period                      Number of cases           Designation

             June 2003                   29 cases                  60 Equality Courts
                                                                   designated
             2004                        191 cases                 160 Equality Courts
                                                                   designated
             2005                        420 cases                 218 Equality Courts
                                                                   designated
             Jan 06 - March 07           169 cases

            April – Sept 07              81 cases
            Oct -Dec 07                  113 cases


o   A Mental Health policy framework and protocols as it pertains to courts is receiving
    attention
o   Child issues
    o Finalisation of Foster Care applications: 58 959 children were placed in foster
        care during January to December 2007, which is an increase from 35 409
        children placed during 2006/07. The Department of Justice and Constitutional
        Development is currently developing its own Foster Care policy and strategy
        during 2008/09 and will provide input into the intersectoral Foster Care Strategy
        being developed under the lead of the Department of Social Development.
    o Progress made on training of Children’s Court Clerks:

                                                                                         32
                The Department in conjunction with Justice College, trained Children’s Court
                Clerks in all 9 provinces, in preparation for the implementation of the Children’s
                Act, 2005 (Act No 38 of 2005). Justice College has reported that they have
                been training the

       •   Children awaiting trial: The Department of Correctional Services has initiated a
           process together with the Departments of Social Development, DoJCD, the NPA and
           the Legal Aid Board, which has resulted in the re-assessments of children awaiting
           trial in detention in general country-wide under lead of DCS and DSD; and local Case
           Review Teams, under the lead of the DPP in each province. The numbers have
           decreased further during 2007. During the past 5 years, for example, focused
           attention to this matter, has resulted in the numbers of children awaiting trial in and
           sentenced to correctional facilities, decreasing by 50%. For the upcoming year,
           emphasis has been placed on removing more children from Correctional and other
           facilities by having many of them re-assessed to ensure correct placement that has
           been one of the factors in the high numbers of children awaiting trial. The Child
           Justice Forum meets regularly with all stakeholders and plays a vital role in
           addressing problems. Magistrates are being sensitized on an ongoing basis
           regarding children in detention. The Judiciary indicated that it is satisfied that
           magistrates apply the law correctly in respect of children in detention. The problem
           that should be addressed urgently is the non-availability of places of safety.

       •   Maintenance: Despite the existence of the Maintenance Act and the innovative
           amendments that have been introduced, women continue to struggle to access
           maintenance due to inefficiencies in the system and lack of adequate resources and
           capacity. The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development introduced
           Operation Isondlo as a strategy aimed at improving the Maintenance System. The
           purpose and objective of the project is to change the negative public perception
           about the maintenance system by introducing interventions to address the problems
           that have been plaguing the system’s ineffectiveness.

   o   Justice Deposits Accounts System (JDAS) Roll out Progress:
       JDAS is designed and in line with Department strategy to operate the manual process
       and to administer monies received at magistrates courts. JDAS is beneficial in that:
           It aims to improve the lifestyles of the poor, especially mothers and children via sms
           notification;
           It provides better and faster service with smaller queues;
           Because of the retrieval of information people are able to make telephonic enquiries
           and given faster responses.

       According to statistics the total number of monies paid out by courts, with the assistance
       of JDAS, is about R214 541 575, 00. From January 2007 to August 2007 R4.1 billion
       were paid out of 19 courts, bearing in mind that JDAS is active in more than 216 courts.
       The table below clearly indicates the number of courts operating with JDAS and manual
       courts that are still in line for rollout to JDAS. As of March 2008, out of 441 sites, JDAS
       has been rolling out in 419 sites nationally, which is a 95% achievement in terms of roll
       out. The only site where roll-out of JDAS is still outstanding is 22 sites nationally. The
       following regions have the highest number of roll-outs: Western Cape, Eastern Cape and
       Limpopo.

Province        Number of Lives Sites   Number of Outstanding Sites      Total Sites in Province
North West      34                      0                                34
Northern Cape   35                      0                                35
Mpumalanga      36                      0                                36
Limpopo         36                      1                                37
Eastern Cape    81                      0                                81
Western Cape    51                      0                                51
Gauteng         23                      5                                28
Free State      55                      12                               67
KZN             68                      4                                72
                                                                                               33
            419                      22                                441



o   Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) Developments: The Maintenance EFT project was
    started during 2005 at the Magistrate Elliotdale in the Eastern Cape after a survey was
    done in the area with maintenance beneficiaries as to whether they would like to receive
    their maintenance payments directly into their bank accounts. The response was
    immensely positive and some of the major banks assisted us with the opening of bank
    accounts and the placement of mini-ATM’s at shops in the area. The reason Elliotdale
    was chosen was that the nearest bank is in Mthatha which is about 60 kilometres away.
    Magistrate Elliotdale up to that date paid their maintenance beneficiaries by cheques,
    which the beneficiaries then had to cash at shops where they were charged up to R 30
    commission for this privilege. A further pilot was done at Magistrate Umbumbulu, which
    also proved to be hugely successful. The CEFTU (Central Electronic Funds Transfer
    Unit) was established during March 2006, to process all maintenance EFT payments
    from a central point. The CEFTU started of in April 2006 paying 255 maintenance
    beneficiaries. As the project proved more and more successful the number of payments
    increased from month to month and in November 2006, the CEFTU was paying 6 275
    beneficiaries in respect of 24 offices country wide. In April 2007, the CEFTU paid 21 238
    maintenance beneficiaries at 118 offices. During September 2007, 35 124 beneficiaries in
    respect of 198 offices were paid. The project has grown and during February 2008, 49
    919 beneficiaries were paid R 25, 862 million at 237 offices. Paying maintenance by
    Electronic Funds Transfer is essentially an easy process and enhances the service
    delivery of the Department.

    Although this facility is available to all maintenance beneficiaries at all courts in the
    country (it is estimated that the Department roughly pays 390 000 maintenance
    beneficiaries per month at its various pay points), some beneficiaries choose to continue
    collecting cash at the courts. It is expected that this reluctance to open a bank account
    will decrease over time. Unfortunately, at this stage, the beneficiaries have to bear the
    withdrawal charges themselves and this also contributes to the reluctance of
    beneficiaries to join the project. This issue will be addressed when the MMT PPP is
    implemented during the next financial year where the Department will carry the cost of
    the first withdrawal per month.

o   ADR: Mediation services and restorative justice programs are being promoted to
    strengthen social cohesion with emphasis on building family unity in the fight
    against crime. Aspects that have received attention and are continuing to receive
    attention includes the following:
         Court services is in discussions with relevant service providers to bring in
             expertise from credible service providers for training on mediation services and
             restorative justice
         Restorative Justice and ADR policy/strategy and implementation aspects is being
             approached intersectorally and a Project manager was appointed
         Restorative justice Guidelines and common standards workshops to be held in
             next few months
         Restorative Justice elements have been incorporated into several pieces of
             legislation such as the Child Justice Bill; the Traditional Courts Bill. In addition
             research and study tours have been undertaken to ensure greater access to
             justice though resolving disputes through non-litigious methods that include civil
             matters. It has been noted that especially in family matters the adversarial
             methods of resolving disputes exacerbate acrimony in the family structure. This
             compounds the psychological impact on children especially in the dissolution of
             the marriage. In dealing with maintenance there is an inevitable link of dealing
             with mediation, although it is not really recognized as mediation as such. The
             Johannesburg Family Court at 15 Market Street and Pretoria Magistrate Court
             have been identified as pilot sites as they are centrally located. Once fully
             operational, it is anticipated that high volumes of maintenance cases will be
             reduced and turn around time in finalising family law matters will improve.

                                                                                              34
o   Parental rights and responsibilities awareness raising sessions planned and information
    manual being developed.

o   Diversion: The numbers of children being diverted from the Criminal Justice System
    during the past 5 years, have also increased every year and the latest statistics received
    from the National Prosecution Authority, indicate that 19 066 children were diverted from
    the Criminal Justice System, during April 2007 to March 2008. In addition, The Legal Aid
    Board has appointed Children’s Units to legally represent children in conflict with the law
    and appearing in courts; and the numbers of children assisted in this regard, increase by
    20% every year

   Sexual Offence courts: The Department has facilitated the development of a national
    implementation/operational plan that aims to strengthen the operation of the existing 52
    Dedicated Sexual Offences Court and 31 Regional Courts presiding over sexual related
    matters. The 52 Dedicated Sexual Offences Courts are in compliance to the national
    blueprint requirements. To ensure accessibility for all sexual offences matters, the
    Department is at present considering integrating dedicated Sexual Offences courts into
    other mainstream courts.




                                                                                            35
CONCLUSION


  •   Court Services will continue during 2008 to address the following challenges:


         –   Aligning the court structure with the Constitution and ensuring compliance and
             compatibility with judgments and International Instruments


         –   Improving Case Flow Management and reducing case backlogs


         –   Extending access to justice and simultaneously transforming services to previously
             disadvantaged     communities     and    vulnerable     groups,   particularly   regarding
             maintenance


         –   Extending family advocacy services


         –   Increasing capacity among Justice personnel in order to effect service delivery
             excellence, in line with the principles of Batho Pele


         –   Improving the facilities and infrastructure of the courts, especially the lower courts,
             which at many places still leaves much to be desired


         –   Changing how courts operate and the mindset of court personnel


      ………………………………………………………………………………………………………




                                                                                                    36

								
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