Mogoeng criticises govt's failure to have funds available to modernise courts

Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng said that there was no acceptable explanation for the arm of state to be excluded from the advancement which has benefitted other spheres.

Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The Judiciary has lambasted the failure by government to make funds available for the modernisation of the country’s courts.

Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng said that there was no acceptable explanation for the arm of state to be excluded from the advancement which has benefitted other spheres.

The judiciary's annual report for 2019 to 2020 revealed that the COVID-19 lockdown affected the workings of the courts, resulting in increased caseloads.

The Chief Justice said that court modernisation would help accelerate case progression and finalisation, reduce backlogs and significantly improve access to justice.

He bemoaned the fact that for years, they had been working hard to get the courts to function more effectively and efficiently but this had been hampered by underfunding.

"it's something that we raised as far back as 2013 and we worked on the plan and analysed it but the budget is simply not available for us to be able to do that."

Mogoeng added that had the necessary and critical changes been made when they were initially proposed, access to justice and court operations would have been very smooth and cases would not have piled up as much as they had during the lockdown.

Download the EWN app to your iOS or Android device.