Mogoeng to police: Don't arrest people willy-nilly

The Chief Justice says they have met with the police and he’s made this plea to them.

Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng. Picture: GCIS.

JOHANNESBURG – Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng has appealed to the police to refrain from what he calls effecting arrests willy-nilly to avoid clogging the court system, saying not every case necessitates arrests.

Mogoeng was speaking in Midrand following the meeting of the heads of court.

The Chief Justice says they have met with the police and he’s made this plea to them.

“Please, where possible, refrain from effecting arrests in circumstances where you have no reason to doubt that a person will make himself or herself available.”

He says this affects the court system.

“The court system is being clogged, resulting in untold backlogs because once you’re arrested in 48 hours’ time you must be represented before the court and that’s often accompanied by applications for bail.

“And instead of the magistrate dealing with cases that are trial ready, it is these cases relating to arrests that could have been avoided.”

However, he says he understands that some offences do warrant arrest.


Mogoeng said the lack of hope in South Africa isn't solely due to political instability but rather real problems, such as unemployment and poverty.

“It’s when people look for jobs and jobs are not available, like graduates. They’re looking for jobs. It’s not only about politics. The entire challenge cannot be attributed to politics. We need to reorganise ourselves.”

He added South Africans remain divided.

He said if there is a greater focus on delivering what’s been promised in the Constitution, the hopelessness that currently exists will eventually disappear.”

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)