KwaZulu-Natal to ask for more judges to handle corruption cases

2013-06-20 16:48

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KwaZulu-Natal will try to get more judges to handle corruption cases involving public money, premier Zweli Mkhize said.

“In further engagement with the judiciary in this province, it is clear that in relation to the population, KwaZulu-Natal has a very low number of judges, compared particularly with Gauteng and the Western Cape,” he said today in the provincial legislature in Pietermaritzburg, during the tabling of KwaZulu-Natal’s R620 million budget.

He told MPLs he had pointed out to Justice Minister Jeff Radebe the shortage of prosecutors in the province. Radebe said there were an adequate number of judges and prosecutors in the province.

KwaZulu-Natal, with a population of 10.2 million had only 27 judges, compared to Gauteng’s 79 judges for 12.2 million people.

The Western Cape had 34 judges for 5.8 million people. Mkhize said these figures had prompted the provincial government to ask for more judges.

“As per our Cabinet resolution, I shall again take the matter up with the minister of justice, or if need be the president, to find a solution,” the premier said.

He said his government had given a clear indication of its willingness to fight corruption.

Mkhize said from April 2011 to March 2012 the KwaZulu-Natal provincial government fraud summary indicated the police’s commercial crimes unit had received 594 dockets involving graft totalling R28.7 million.

A total of 529 convictions were secured from the 594 dockets.

The premier was optimistic more criminals would be arrested and successfully prosecuted with help from the Hawks, the Specialised Investigation Unit, police, and National Prosecution Authority.

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