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Moderinising SA courts among Lamola's top priorities

He also announced that he plans to bring to Parliament a draft Land Court Bill, to help govern the adjudication of land restitution, expropriation and redistribution.

FILE: Justice Minister Ronald Lamola. Picture: AFP

CAPE TOWN - Newly appointed Justice Minister Ronald Lamola said one of his top goals was to modernise and digitise South Africa’s courts.

Lamola was making his maiden presentation before Parliament’s justice committee on Wednesday.

He also announced that he planned to bring to Parliament a draft Land Court Bill, to help govern the adjudication of land restitution, expropriation and redistribution.

After just a short while in the hot seat, Lamola was still getting to grips with his huge portfolio but has already identified modernising the court system as a legacy he’d like to leave.

“We cannot, in this time and age, spend millions of rands - if not billions - to pay physical storage for paper-based records when other jurisdictions are modernising and digitising their records. We cannot continue to purchase hard copy books when our court judgments and publications can be accessed quickly and easily through technology.”

Lamola said digitising the court system would save time and money.

He’s also committed to implementing the declaration of the summit on gender-based violence and femicide hosted by President Cyril Ramaphosa last year.

“The sexual offences courts must be geared towards the immediate reduction of the scourge of gender-based violence and sexual offences and aim to move towards its complete eradication in a decade.”

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