Mitchells Plain gets new municipal court

2018-05-04 22:12
Deputy Justice Minister John Jeffery and Cape Town Mayor Patricia De Lille at official opening of Mitchells Plain Municipal Court (Jenni Evans, News24)

Deputy Justice Minister John Jeffery and Cape Town Mayor Patricia De Lille at official opening of Mitchells Plain Municipal Court (Jenni Evans, News24)

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The newly opened Mitchells Plain Municipal Court will keep those facing the heat of traffic and by-law violations away from "hardened criminals", Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille said on Friday.

"Residents coming to pay their fines or attend to cases on by-law-related matters also no longer have to be exposed to hardened criminals as was the case at the Mitchells Plain Magistrate's Court," said De Lille.

Opening it officially with Deputy Justice Minister John Jeffery, De Lille said the court was an example of how service delivery does come to Mitchells Plain.
This was after a fraught week of protests at nearby Siqalo, opposite the "main" entrance to Mitchells Plain.

One person was killed when a taxi drove through a crowd of people in Mitchells Plain on Wednesday.

Two others were injured in an apparent standoff between residents of Siqalo, police and residents of Mitchells Plain over municipal services and the right to live at Siqalo.

"Services are not just about water and refuse removal," said De Lille.

Court independent

The City of Cape Town contributed R2.7m to the court, which is next to the Lentegeur Civic Centre.

The court will have its own presiding officer, Magistrate Marilyn MacSimlah, prosecutors, clerks and interpreters.

De Lille said between June 2016 and July 2017 more than 24 500 traffic cases were processed at the magistrate's court.

She said its location next to the civic centre, library and near the MyCiTi route meant that people could also use the precinct that the court is in for other activities and matters.

Jeffery said municipal courts form part of the rationalising and redrawing of court jurisdictions currently underway countrywide.

He stressed that even though the City helped fund the court, the court authorities had complete independence.

"The magistrate does not account to Mayor De Lille, but to the chief magistrate," said Jeffery.

The courts also deal with municipal by-law violations such as dumping, noise pollution, building without plans, dogs barking and water pollution.

Read more on:    cape town  |  service delivery

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