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Activists protest delays at Parow court

Members of Free Gender, an LGBTQ+ organisation, marched to the Khayelitsha police station in Site B to highlight the injustices suffered by victims such as Phelokazi Ndlwana, who was stabbed to death in what is believed to have been a hate crime. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency

Members of Free Gender, an LGBTQ+ organisation, marched to the Khayelitsha police station in Site B to highlight the injustices suffered by victims such as Phelokazi Ndlwana, who was stabbed to death in what is believed to have been a hate crime. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency

Published Mar 9, 2022

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CAPE TOWN - Defunct audio and visual equipment at Parow Magistrates Court and the subsequent delay of justice to GBV victims prompted a protest by activists on International Women’s Day on Tuesday.

In commemoration of the day, a group of protesters picketed outside the Parow Magistrate’s Court to highlight their concerns that victims were subjected to further trauma as “about 200” cases were delayed by the technical issues.

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A memorandum handover was done by Reverend June Dolley-Major and supported by a number of activists however, while picketing, it was communicated to the group that a technician had been on-site yesterday to attend to the audio and visual equipment.

“The recording equipment is not working since September last year which means cases are being postponed numerous times.

“Some cases are just being postponed every time and nobody is being held accountable.

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“This means that when you go to court, you are traumatised over and over again and you face your perpetrator at appearances.

“Some mothers of children victims are taking off work and losing an income and because their jobs are at risk, a lot of these women withdraw their cases.

“Parow Court houses two sexual offences courts which is for Bellville and Parow areas which covers a vast area.

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“This is unacceptable, we gave them a date to commit to having the equipment fixed which was by March 21 also commemorated as Human Rights Day,” said Dolley-Major.

Court managers had accepted the memorandum on Tuesday.

Enquiries to the Department of Justice had not been answered by deadline on Tuesday.

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Also commemorating the international awareness day, Free Gender - an LGBTIQ+ organisation - marched for the awareness of queer rights as well as highlight the injustices suffered by victims such as Phelokazi Ndlwana who was stabbed to death in what is believed to have been a hate crime.

“We are fighting for justice to be served to victims who are subject of incompetent work of the police and justice system. The matter has since been scrapped from the roll and the alleged perpetrator is walking scot free,” said Free Gender spokesperson Theo Masalaza.

Meanwhile DA Shadow Deputy Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, Werner Horn said they would be writing to Minister of Justice and Correctional Services, Ronald Lamola, to address the “shocking figures” reflecting a backlog 15 605 cases of sexual offence cases in the court system and to highlight how the system is failing sexual offence victims

“With a backlog as large as this, the hope of achieving timely justice for sexual offence victims appears vanishingly small,” said Horn.

Cape Times

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