The revamping of the sexual offences court at the Mitchell’s Plain Magistrate’s Court was made possible by the establishment of a new municipal court in Lentegeur.
This is according to Advocate Hieshaam Mohamed, Head of the Western Cape regional office.
“The very fact that the investment was made in the [municipal court] has enabled us to invest more and make space for matters that very much besiege our community in Mitchell’s Plain and that is to establish a blueprint sexual offences court. It is not just a traffic court, it is an enabler for the investment into this sexual offences court,” he says.
Mohamed spoke at the launch of the municipal court in Lentegeur.
On Friday 4 May, then Mayor Patricia de Lille and deputy minister for justice and constitutional development, John Jeffery conducted a walk about at the newly revamped sexual offences court situated at the magistrate’s court (“New municipal court for ‘Plain”, People’s Post, 8 May).
Sexual offences courts were reintroduced by the department in August 2013 to provide specialised support services to victims of sexual offences, decrease turnaround times for finalisation of sexual offences cases and improve conviction rates in these cases.
The National Department of Justice and Constitutional Development invested R120m on refurbishing the Uistitia building which accommodates the Cape Town family court, sexual offences court and provides other justice related services to the residents at the Mitchell’s Plain Magistrate’s Court.
The court makes provision for private rooms for counselling, testifying and better services.
At the walkabout, Jeffery also answered questions from organisations and individuals invited to see the facility.