Slow start for World Cup courts

2010-05-25 16:15

The dedicated World Cup courts did not exactly kick off with a

bang.

The courts – ready to prosecute anyone who falls foul of Fifa law –

have been operational since yesterday. However, World Cup-related cases are scarce.

“Not that we encourage crime, (but) they have been ready to receive

matters since yesterday. We will not mourn if none (no cases) have been

received. It would be an indication that tourists are safe and that South

Africans are safe and peaceful,” commented justice department spokesperson,

Tlali Tlali.

The 56 courts – set up at a cost of R45 million – will deal with

tournament-related offences including crime linked to a stadium or in the

vicinity of the stadium as well as hotels hosting delegations.

This includes hooliganism, robberies, assaults, muggings and

fraud.

A court official from the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court said no

World Cup-related cases had been received, adding that she had no idea what to

expect when the cases started rolling in.

Carol Mcetywa, court manager for the Randburg Magistrate’s Court,

said their World Cup courts hadn’t seen any cases either.

Gauteng has the

most courts out of the provinces, with 14 district courts and eight regional

courts. There will be 34 district and 20 regional courts countrywide with 1 140

officials available, 35 para-legals and 93 foreign-language interpreters.

During the Fifa Confederations Cup in South Africa in 2009, two

suspects who entered the room of Brazilian nationals were arrested, convicted

and sentenced within two days. They were sentenced to 10 years

imprisonment.

Over 9 000 fans were arrested during the World Cup in Germany in

2006.

 

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