TOP SOUTH AFRICAN JUDGE VOICES CONCERN ABOUT OVERCROWDING IN PRISONS

South Africa's top judge, Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng, has expressed concern about overcrowding in prisons and has called on the Justice cluster of government departments to work together to minimise the problem.

As an example, it is not necessary to immediately arrest suspects for petty crimes, he said at the official opening of the High Court in Polokwane, capital of Limpopo Province, Tuesday.

"It's in circumstances where no investigation has taken place that you immediately arrest let's educate one another and make sure that it's only those serious cases where arrest and detentions are unavoidable," he added.

"In relation to which arrest takes place a chicken and a goat and loaf of bread is important, you need to be dealt with when you steal them. But you don't have to be immediately arrested and clog up the system unnecessarily."

Justice Minister Michael Masutha said the new High Court in Polokwane had laid a solid foundation for justice services. Masutha, who opened the building, thanked those involved in the construction.

"As the people of this province, and I include myself, we have a reason to celebrate today."

The Judge President of the High Court in Polokwane, Ephraim Makgoba, said the establishment of the facility had brought services closer to the people. People in the province mostly sought High Court Services in Pretoria and at the Thohoyandou High Court, about 150 kilometres northeast of here.

Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK

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