Justice Minister Lamola defends dept against claims that it has regressed

Lamola said that while more could be done, it was not true that the Department of Justice and Correctional Services was in decline.

Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola addresses the media in Pretoria during a virtual Cabinet briefing on 6 August 2020. Picture: @GovernmentZA/Twitter.

CAPE TOWN - Justice Minister Ronald Lamola has defended his department against opposition claims that its performance has regressed.

Lamola said that while more could be done, it was not true that the Department of Justice and Correctional Services was in decline.

He was replying to debate on his R22.4 billion budget at Parliament on Tuesday.

Democratic Alliance (DA) MP Werner Horn cited inefficiencies at master’s offices and the “near collapse” of court buildings countrywide, among other things.

“Minister, this is the reality. The backward slide of this department is too big to think that you can tinker and doodle it into success. Wholesale structural changes need to be made in respect of how we maintain and manage court buildings and collateral facilities.”

But Lamola disagreed: “It is a deliberate closing of the eyes by the honourable Horn, who does not see that there has been an improvement in the performance of the department, from 66% to 79%. It’s a huge improvement… more can be done but to say there’s no improvement, that there is a decline, is not informed by the outcomes percentage.”