Courts to put in measures to fight COVID-19

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng says courts around the country will beef up sanitation in a bid to ensure that access to justice is not hindered by COVID-19.

Mogoeng outlined that all court buildings will undergo a decontamination process to fight the scourge of the Coronavirus outbreak.

“Floor and work surfaces of court rooms and the premises as well as the workplace with special focus on maintenance and domestic violence, children’s court must be disinfected with disinfectant material periodically at least twice a day during working hours,” he said.   

According to the Chief Justice, government has committed to provide financial assistance for these measures.

In the interim, Mogoeng said courts will make use of petty cash to secure surgical masks and protective gear for court staff.

On Tuesday, the Chief Justice, together with the Heads of Court, convened an urgent meeting to discuss President Cyril Ramaphosa’s declaration of the Coronavirus outbreak as a national disaster.

The declaration by the President, amongst other things, prohibited mass gatherings and limited gatherings to a maximum of a 100 people.

At the meeting of the Heads of Court, several measures were adopted in an effort to mitigate and limit transmission of COVID-19 at the courts.

Among them is the decision to allow those with a material interest in court proceedings to attend the court, subject to the adherence of the 100 people limit.

“Persons with a material interest in a case such as litigants; accused persons; witnesses; those who may be needed to provide support such as those accompanying children; victims of domestic violence and or sexual abuse; elderly; people with disabilities; family members; representatives of special interests or support groups and members of the media will be permitted to enter the court precinct,” said the Chief Justice.

The courts will decontaminate the reception and admission areas, community service centres, court rooms, cells and detention facilities, offices, lifts, vehicles, biometrics and ablution facilities.

Mogoeng also made a clarion call to those with an inclination to pray to do so for the country. – SAnews.gov.za

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