Mogoeng: Courts to stay open but COVID-19 measures in place

Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng said that careful consideration had been taken to ensure that justice was done as the country grappled with the disease.

FILE: Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng said that shutting down the courts as an intervention to deal with the coronavirus would be short-sighted.

He said that careful consideration had been taken to ensure that justice was done as the country grappled with the disease.

The Chief Justice gave a briefing in Midrand on the judiciary’s response to the spread of COVID-19 in South Africa.

Despite speculation that the judiciary would follow other bodies in announcing the closure of its institutions, Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng said that the courts would stay open.

He, however, listed a number of measures that would be taken to curb the spread of COVID-19.

"Courtrooms, cells and detention facilities, offices, lifts, vehicles, biometrics and ablution facilities be disinfected with disinfectant material periodically at least twice a day during working hours."

The Chief Justice said that the decision to keep the courts operational could be re-evaluated if the spread of the virus in the country worsened.

He said that all communication previously sent out by other courts were now null and void with immediate effect.

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