Not enough translators for Joburg courts

2012-03-12 12:42

Johannesburg - More than half of the cases heard on a daily basis in the Johannesburg Magistrate's Court and its ten satellite courts demand foreign language translators, and there are not enough of them to meet demand.

"We've had problems with the issue of foreign language translators for years," Chief Magistrate Gert Jonker told Beeld newspaper.

Cases were being delayed because there were often no translators to assist in court.

Jonker said the courts had previously used part-time translators, who were not employed by the state.

There had been a few irregularities, so the department of justice had decided to appoint the translators on contract, so as to improve control mechanisms.

Since the department had appointed Mangope Motaung to oversee an experimental project to do with foreign translators in October 2011, there had definitely been an improvement, Jonker said.

"The department is aware of the shortages, but at the moment, we're still struggling. The 30 foreign translators we currently have are inadequate," he said.

There was, in particular, an urgent need for translators in Northern Ndebele, Ibo (Nigeria's language), Maputo-Shangaan, and Chinese.

  • letwice - 2012-03-12 13:10

    The is no language called Chinese.

      Bonjo - 2012-03-12 13:20

      Agreed, the most widely spoken languages in China are Mandarin and Cantonese...hopefully the News 24 editor will see our comments and edit the article :-)

  • kgomotso.radise - 2012-03-12 13:18

    They are menace to society take them back home

  • tammy.laumann - 2012-03-12 13:20

    Translators are not used in court, interpreters are.

  • dave.leverton - 2012-03-12 13:22

    So more than half the defendants coming to court are foreigners ??

  • Wojtek - 2012-03-12 13:36

    Ok, now why not write down a contact number to call about a job interview for this highly specialized work, I have a friend that would be perfect for this work. News24 should be more pro active about these type of stories and inspire people to go out and find jobs instead of stopping at reporting a problem.

  • dave.leverton - 2012-03-12 14:17

    I'm sure some people just press the thumbs down because they are dyslexic.

  • stalin.rudolf - 2012-03-12 14:49

    improve relations with their countries of origin and let them tried by their own peers.

  • TonyPerkis - 2012-03-12 18:33

    Interpreting is needed in courts, not translating. There is a difference. Source: I'm a translator.

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