JOINT PRESS STATEMENT:
JUSTICE FOR ALL!
Khayelitsha Organisations to Stage Picket for Improved Access to Justice and Safety – 10h45, 23 September 2010
- The Social Justice Coalition (SJC), Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), Equal Education (EE), Free Gender, AIDS Legal Network, Luleka Lisizwe and Triangle Project are community-based organisations located in Khayelitsha, Cape Town. Our organisations seek to address wide-ranging problems faced by our members – from inadequate sanitation and education, to HIV/TB and homophobia.
- Though our organisations remain focused on different campaigns, we are compelled by circumstance to express the common conviction that many victims of crime (both violent and property related) in Khayelitsha do not have adequate access to justice. Access to justice is a right guaranteed by our constitution.
- This conclusion has been reached after years of frustrating and disheartening experiences attempting to secure justice through the courts and protection from the police for members of our organizations who have been victims of crime.
- The continued delays and failures in the bringing to justice of the accused murderers of Zoliswa Nkonyana have highlighted the urgent problems in the criminal justice system. It has brought our organisations together to protest.
- The case of Zoliswa Nkonyana is not an isolated incident. Throughout Khayelitsha there are countless cases of failures in the criminal justice system. Our organisations have collectively encountered:
- Cases where bail has been awarded to persons accused of schedule 6 offences such as child rape, and other serious crimes, without paying due diligence to bail procedures described in the Criminal Procedures Act.
- Cases in which crucial details were not relayed to victims and their families
- The loss of dockets
- Various cases delayed and dismissed due to poor policing and administration of justice
- To protest these failings we will be handing over a memorandum to the MEC for Community Safety Albert Fritz and the National Department of Justice to highlight our concerns and to call for an investigation into discrepancies in the cases our organisations have been following. We will focus specifically on the case of Zoliswa Nkonyana and call for a judicial investigation into the failures in the administration of justice in Khayelitsha.
- The protest will take place at 10h45 Thursday the 23rd of September at the Provincial Legislature in Wale Street, Cape Town.