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Justice Minister Lamola issues new court directives for lockdown period

The amended Justice directives gazetted on Tuesday said that essential justice services would be available at courts at a limited time.

Justice Minister Ronald Lamola at an inter-ministerial briefing on the coronavirus in Pretoria on 13 March 2020. Picture: Sethembiso Zulu/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola said all matters on court rolls that were not urgent would be postponed during the lockdown, but urgent matters would be heard between 10am and 1pm daily.

Lamola said persons whose matters were not urgent must stay home and not go to court until after the lockdown.

The minister has issued amended directives to address, prevent and combat the spread of COVID-19 in all courts, court precincts, and justice service points.

The amended justice directives gazetted on Tuesday said that essential justice services would be available at courts at a limited time.

Spokesperson Chrispin Phiri said: “Only between 10am and 1pm daily during the national lockdown period (27 March until 16 April 2020).

Phiri said that only urgent family law services would be attended to but applications for protection orders and enforcement orders would be addressed.

The offices of the Master of the High Court will attend to urgent appointments for deceased estates as well as curatorship.

Criminal courts will be open to preside over bail hearings and first applications.

“Audio-visual remand technology at correctional centres will be used as widely as possible to minimise the need for persons in custody to appear in court," Phiri said.

Lamola said matters on the court roll would be rescheduled and those affected by these changes would be informed of new dates for court appearances.

WATCH: Ministers give an update on day 5 of COVID-19 lockdown

For official information about COVID-19 from the Department of Health, please click here.

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