Problems with dockets in Khayelitsha

A prosecutor told the hearing that late and missing dockets resulted in court backlogs.

FILE: Commissioners Kate O'Regan and Vusi Pikoli speaking to Brigadier Dladla in Khayelitsha on 24 January 2014. Picture: Rahima Essop/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Case dockets arriving late or sometimes not at all resulted in some cases being postponed as many as seven times, the Khayelitsha Commission of Inquiry heard on Thursday.

Senior prosecutor Rochelle Harmse made the claim earlier in the day.

The hearing was set up by Western Cape Premier Helen Zille to investigate allegations of police inefficiency and a breakdown in relations between officers and the community.

Harmse said late and missing dockets contributed to backlogs in court.

She says her hands are tied as dockets contain all evidence and statements.

The prosecutor told the inquiry some cases were postponed more than half a dozen times.

Harmse says this often forces prosecutors to withdraw matters.

She did however tell the hearing there has been some improvement since she raised the issue on several occasions during monthly meetings with officials and the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development.