It is unacceptable that the justice department has allowed contracts for the maintenance and servicing of court recording transcription machines and closed-circuit TVs (CCTVs) to expire, forcing courts to postpone cases.
Bulelani Magwanishe, chairperson of parliament’s portfolio committee on justice and correctional services, made this remark during an oversight visit to the Palm Ridge magistrate’s court in Gauteng on Thursday.
The committee heard from magistrates and prosecutors that the unavailability of working recording machines presented a big challenge.
They said this could lead to a crisis in cases where matters are taken on review or appeal, and court recordings are required.
The committee also heard that without CCTV, child rape cases cannot be heard, as this means children cannot testify, forcing cases to be postponed.