Lawyers, Police and Prosecutors Contribute to the Blueprint to Fix South Africa - Herman Mashaba

Last night I had the privilege of participating in an engagement with lawyers, policemen and women, prosecutors and retired judges regarding the blueprint to fix our criminal justice system, as part of our larger project to fix our country.

 

The knowledge, experience and skills that arose from this discussion was beyond our wildest expectations.

 

What emerged was an appreciation that South Africa’s criminal justice system needs a fundamental overhaul. Our legal frameworks are largely sound but implementation has rendered the system dysfunctional.

 

We had defence lawyers who spoke in detail of how our prosecutors are underpaid, over-loaded and under-prepared in dealing with our cases. We had policemen and women who spoke about the political interference they experience and the under resourcing of our detective units. We had retired judges addressing the slow pace of justice in our society and the inability to deal with criminal immigrants.

 

Just a few of the possible solutions that arose from this discussion:

 

  1. Developing specialised units within the police and NPA, backed by specialised courts dealing priority crimes.
  2. Resourcing of our detectives and prosecutors to speed up investigations and prosecutions. These need to be roles that are sought after and revered in our society.
  3. Capacitation and expansion of our existing courts to accelerate the delivery of justice.
  4. Empowerment of Community Policing Forums and return of police reservists.
  5. Formalised partnerships with security companies to expand the reach of the police in our country.

 

Once again what has emerged from this engagement is that the solutions for our criminal justice system lie with dedicated South Africans with expertise in policing, security, law and prosecutions. Political party policies developed by career politicians are far removed from the realities faced by South Africans who work in these fields on a daily basis.

 

In the process, we have established an ongoing relationship with these experts that we will continue to exercise in order to ensure that the launch of the new party in August delivers workable and real solutions to building a safer South Africa.