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Special courts set up to deal with attacks on foreign nationals

by Bathandwa Mbola
on 25 May 2008
BuaNews Online
BuaNews Online

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA), South African Police Service (SAPS) and Department of Justice have partnered together to set up dedicated courts to deal with cases relating to attacks on foreign nationals.

This will ensure those arrested are dealt with strongly and speedily.

Nodal points will be established with allocated prosecutors who will to work with the police in each province, where all cases will be centrally coordinated and monitored.

The police, NPA and the Director General of the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development, Advocate Menzi Simelane made the decision to ensure these cases do not become part of the normal case load and are given priority.

According to a joint statement by the two units, from the time the police make the arrests they will meet with the prosecutors to review and discuss the dockets, to ensure that they are court ready as soon as possible.

"The prosecutors have been advised to vehemently oppose bail in the interest of justice and apply for heavy sentences."

It is hoped that that the courts will deal with these cases with the full might of the law so a strong message is sent out condemning this criminal behaviour.

So far, over 500 arrests had already been made and were being addressed with high priority.

Further, a man was shot and killed in Springs on the East Rand after he pointed a firearm at a member of the SA National Defence Force (SANDF), the Department of Defence said in a statement on Saturday.

The incident took place on Friday night as the army was providing back-up support for the police during a search operation.

Some army members saw a man assaulting a woman and approached the scene. The man then pointed a firearm at a member of the army, who shot back in self-defence.

Preliminary investigations have indicated that the gun the man was using was stolen in a robbery in the area in October 2004.

Earlier, this week, President Thabo Mbeki gave approval for the SANDF to provide support to the police in stopping the attacks on foreigners in the Gauteng province.

The department said any loss of life was unfortunate. "The police, supported by the SANDF, are working tirelessly to restore order in all areas of Gauteng." - BuaNews

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