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DA alarmed by hundreds of vacancies in court system

The DA said it received a parliamentary reply where the Justice Minister revealed there are hundreds of vacant posts in the courts.

The Boksburg Magistrate Court. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The Democratic Alliance (DA) has raised the alarm over what it called chronic vacancies in the country’s court system.

The party said it received a parliamentary reply where the Justice Minister revealed there were hundreds of vacant posts in the courts.

Justice Minister Ronald Lamola said in his reply that vacancies in the country’s lower courts amounted to 889 positions, with more than 160 additional empty posts in the higher courts.

This has led to a blockage in the system, according to the DA.

The party claimed that some of the jobs haven't been filled in over a year. It wanted a meeting with Justice Department, Judicial Service Commission and Presidency officials.

Meanwhile, the Western Cape’s Community Safety MEC said provincial police management had given him worrying statistics on convictions in kidnapping cases.

Albert Fritz said that in the 2018/19 financial year there were only 12 convictions stemming from 681 cases.