Nobody but court orderlies will in future be allowed to enter a court building carrying a service pistol. This includes investigating officers and other police officers. Justice and Constitutional Development Deputy Minister John Jeffrey has announced a directive from his Department to this effect.
This comes after last week’s incident in which a police officer murdered his wife and her brother and turned the gun on himself, inside a divorce court at the Durban Magistrate court. Jeffrey says the directive also aims to ensure that criminal syndicates do not take advantage of a situation and commit crimes inside courtrooms.
“I think what happened is, I would hope… its isolated – it was as you know the issue of a policeman being allowed to bring his gun into court because he was a policeman, who has not indicated that he was party in a matter in this court. So what happened in this court – things have been tightened up in terms of that – no person can bring a gun into court unless they are a court orderly. This was a domestic issue, but is also likely that courts could be targeted by criminal syndicates or criminals who want to take out a witness or accused or a magistrate or court officials.”
Meanwhile the Chief Magistrate in the Durban Magistrate Court, Bhekumthetho Ngubane says the KwaZulu-Natal Police Commissioner committed himself to assist in issuing the advisory pertaining the directive.
“We came to a resolution where we said the area court manager must actually write a notice informing the people that from now towards, that provision which allowed them to come with firearms, provided they produce their identifications cards to the security, will now be excluded. The Deputy Provincial Commissioner, Mr Chiliza, – has specifically stated that he will issue a notice to all the police saps members to inform them about the fact that in all courts in KZN they will be no more allowed to bring firearms in the court building.”