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124 NC residents convicted for breaking lockdown regulations

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A total of 124 people in the Northern Cape were convicted for contravening Covid-19 regulations between March and June.

The Justice Department revealed on Tuesday that almost 1 000 of the 1 572 people convicted nationally for contravening Covid-19 regulations were issued with fines between March and June.

Statistics released by Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald showed that of these people 300 of them had their sentences suspended, 80 imprisoned and 183 received fines while 20 others were sanctioned with correctional supervision and community service among other things.

Lamola revealed this in response to parliamentary questions by DA MP Okkie Terblanche who asked about the successful prosecution and arrests for the contravention of Covid-19 regulations since March 26.

Lamola said all cases referred to the NPA were screened and those with reasonable prospects of success were enrolled.

He also said there were 24 092 first appearance cases relating to the contraventions of the regulations.

Lamola also said the NPA secured 1572 cases, which translated to 6.5% conviction rate out of the 24 092 cases.

The statistics indicated that between March and April, there were 910 convictions involving 16 67 people.

The figure dropped to 591 cases in May and further declined to 71 cases the following month.

But, Police Minister Bheki Cele provided a different set of statistics covering March 27 until July 4.

Cele said SAPS charged 27 9151 people for the contravention of the regulations and that 26 033 were convicted.

Cele’s statistics showed that Limpopo had 12 281 convictions followed by Gauteng with 3 704, KwaZulu-Natal 2 854, Mpumalanga 2 191, North West 1 752, Eastern Cape 1 646, Free State 1 208, Western Cape 273 and Northern Cape 124.

In a separate question by MP Glynnis Breytenbach, Lamola said the courts dealt with 18 355 first appearance cases relating to Covid-19 contraventions with 39 089 accused people during the lockdown until June 9.

Breytenbach asked about the number of cases emanating from the lockdown regulations that were referred to the National Prosecuting Authority for decision.

The NPA, in line with the modernisation approach enunciated by the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, monitored the enrolment of all Covid-19 cases from the integrated electronic case management dataset.

Lamola said a total of 776 cases were withdrawn during the period, which represented 4% of the total first appearance cases.

He also said a total of 12 354 cases (67.3%) postponed for further investigation to ensure that the cases were finalised on the next court appearance date.

The minister said although 18 355 first appearance cases were enrolled, their integrated system only included cases enrolled.

“Cases referred for decision are not yet electronically recorded but this model is being developed. The data relating to decision dockets is therefore not yet available from the said integrated system.”