MEC Fritz demands answers from SAPS over failed GBV court cases
The MEC on Wednesday held a briefing to flesh out details about cases monitored by his department’s Court Watching Brief Unit between July and September.
CAPE TOWN – Western Cape Community Safety MEC Albert Fritz has written to the provincial police commissioner requesting feedback on serious criminal cases that have been struck off the court roll due to police inefficiencies.
Fritz on Wednesday held a briefing to flesh out details about cases monitored by his department’s Court Watching Brief Unit between July and September.
The unit observes court proceedings and reports inefficiencies in relation to the police investigation or the prosecution with a sharp focus on femicide and domestic violence.
Fritz said 92 monitored cases were struck off the court roll due to police inefficiencies. Those related to gender-based violence (GBV) and domestic violence were 66. They included sexual offences, assault, the contravention of a protection order, murder, and attempted murder.
Fifty-two were as a result of dockets not being present at court, while 40 investigations were not completed.
Fritz said in one of the femicide cases heard at the Mitchells Plain Magistrates Court, in which the accused was charged with contravening a protection order, the matter was postponed at least five times.
Eventually, the case was struck off the roll because the docket was outstanding.
“As a country and a province, we are plagued by gender-based violence and domestic violence. We must work together and using every tool at our disposal to ensure women feel safe,” Fritz said.
The MEC said protection orders were an essential tool in this regard.
“It is therefore unacceptable that the strength of this tool is undermined by inefficient and ineffective police work,” he said.