No rest for World Cup courts

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Pretoria - World Cup action on the field may be drawing to a close, but the action in South Africa's dedicated courts have not slowed down.

According to figures from the Department of Justice, the courts have dealt with 172 cases since they opened on 28 May, up until 4 July. The majority of these cases - 139 in total - have already been finalised.

There have been 104 convictions, 33 cases have been postponed, 28 withdrawn and there have been seven acquittals. Most of the cases, 45.35 percent, were in Gauteng, while 25 percent were in the Western Cape, followed by the Eastern Cape with 12.21 percent.

The Northern Cape is the only province that has managed to keep a clean record so far, with locals and tourists there not bothering the dedicated courts.

South Africans and international visitors alike have found themselves on the wrong side of the law, with 123 locals and 100 foreign nationals appearing in the dedicated courts.

Most of the cases heard by the courts - 59 of them - are theft related, with the selling of World Cup tickets (23 cases), common robbery (11 cases) and fraud (10 cases) also featuring high up on the list.

The South African government has set up 56 courts across the country, specifically to deal with World Cup related crimes.