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Decision was not from regional court – NPA

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The decision of the regional court president not to call accused persons to court during the state of national disaster was, in fact, in line with directives made by the Minister of Justice.

THE NATIONAL Prosecuting Authority (NPA) on Tuesday indicated that the decision of the regional court president not to call accused persons to court during the state of national disaster was, in fact, in line with directives made by the Minister of Justice.

The Commission for Gender Equality in the Northern Cape said that the decision not to postpone matters during the lockdown period but to rather issue summons, was prejudicing victims of violent crimes as well as witnesses as there was nothing compelling accused persons to return to court.

The NPA stated that it was on Monday misinformed that this decision was made by the regional court president, who was in charge of managing the courts.

On Tuesday it was explained that this was in fact implemented correctly as a directive from the Minister of Justice.

The spokesperson for the NPA in the Northern Cape and Free State, Phaladi Shuping, added that prosecutors had expressed concern regarding the impact and implications it would carry for victims of crime.

“In all fairness the decision was not from the regional court.”