Five trucks were torched on Monday night and most roads leading into Ladysmith in KwaZulu-Natal were blocked by protesters. Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng  (ANA)
Five trucks were torched on Monday night and most roads leading into Ladysmith in KwaZulu-Natal were blocked by protesters. Picture: Motshwari Mofokeng (ANA)

Commission hears evidence on steps taken to stop attacks on foreign truck drivers

By Gift Tlou Time of article published Mar 12, 2020

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More stakeholders appeared before the Humans Rights Commission to report on the role they have played in reducing the attacks on foreign long-distance truck drivers.

Danaline Franzman, chief director: social justice and participatory democracy at the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, said they had engaged in a number of anti-xenophobia campaigns annually to curb attacks on foreign nationals.

Franzman said through their National Action Plan they had implemented a public policy to address these crimes. Franzman said their partnership with the Department of Social Development was key in piloting anti-xenophobia campaigns in various communities.

“It has been successful and we continue to engage with community members on Human Rights Day and World Refugee Day to raise awareness.”

Department of Justice acting-director general court services, Tsietsi Malema, told the commission that they had dealt with a number of cases relating to the arrest of foreign nationals in the country. Malema said the department had interpreters who help with translations in the courts.

“We have a number of interpreters helping us with better communication. At times we face a challenge, as some court cases are cancelled and then the translator has to travel to a different province at the department’s expense,” he said.

Malema conceded that they had struggled to find translators. 

“When there is no one to assist, the department has to outsource it, because we couldn’t fill the posts that we had advertised,” he said.

Malema informed the commission that the department was looking to find an audio-visual system to be placed in the courtrooms, which will save the department travel costs.

Commissioner Chris Nissen quizzed Malema on what they were doing to address the issue of unhygienic holding cells. Malema admitted that it had been a constant battle to keep the holding cells clean.

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