New municipal court for ‘Plain

2018-05-08 06:00
Deputy Minister John Jeffery and Mayor Patricia de Lille officially open the court by unveiling the plaque outside the court.

Deputy Minister John Jeffery and Mayor Patricia de Lille officially open the court by unveiling the plaque outside the court.

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A new court has been opened to deal specifically with traffic infringements in the hope of seeing improved road safety.

On Friday last week, Mayor Patricia de Lille and Deputy Minister for Justice and Constitutional Development, John Jeffery officially opened the Municipal Court situated outside the subcouncil offices in Lentegeur.

“Mitchell’s Plain is one of our oldest and most populated communities and many of the facilities are overburdened and infrastructure is ageing,” says de
Lille.

“We can be proud that we are standing in a modern subcouncil office with the brand new municipal court next door. The proximity of these two important facilities means residents can conduct all their City business easily in one vicinity which is also in the same precinct as the local library.

“Since entering into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the office of the Department of Justice, the Director of Public Prosecutions and other stakeholders, the first municipal court was established in April 2000, known as the City Hall Municipal Court.”

This is the 11th court launched in the City of Cape Town’s boundaries.

It is believed that it will help ease strain on the local magistrate’s court roll and have a quicker prosecution time for traffic offenses.

“Previously the Mitchell’s Plain Municipal Court operated from the Mitchell’s Plain Magistrate’s Court. The need for a dedicated building focusing only on municipal court matters was identified in order to streamline the process and enhance service delivery at the court,” says de Lille.

The project cost around R4.7m.

The court will be run by the City of Cape Town but will operate under the Magistrates Act, making it a fully fledged court of law, says Advocate Rodney de Cock, Director of Public Prosecutions.

“This court will not work in isolation of the department of justice,” he says.

“Traffic courts are very important. These offences impact on the lives of others. There are many schools in Mitchell’s Plain and safety of the community is
important.”

Construction started in July last year and was completed in March.

“Between June 2016 and July 2017, more than 24 500 traffic cases were enrolled. With more space in the new building and a streamlined process, the staff will be able to work more effectively. The high number of traffic offences is evidence of the carnage on our roads as motorists simply do not obey the law,” says de Lille.

Jeffery thanked the City for their partnership in making the initiative possible.

“Previously, the municipal court was seperate from the place where people could make payments, which was a problem. This is now a one stop shop for traffic matters,” he says.

He adds the first municipal court was established in 1997 in partnership with the City of Cape Town.

The court has a court room, access to prosecutors and holding cells along with cashier stations.

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