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DA concerned about 1,049 vacant posts in SA courts

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

FILE: Justice Minister Ronald Lamola said vacancies in the country's lower courts amount to 889 with more than 160 additional empty posts in the higher courts. Picture: Twitter

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

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

In his reply, Lamola said vacancies in the country's lower courts amount to 889 with more than 160 additional empty posts in the higher courts, totalling 1,049 vacant posts.

This led to a blockage in the system, said the DA.

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

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

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