Chief Justice Raymond Zondo has revealed that the various divisions of the High Court in the country have failed to reduce the backlog of criminal cases for the 2021/2022 financial year.
Delivering the Annual Judiciary Report to the Constitutional Court, Zondo says the courts only managed to reduce the backlog to 49% and not the target of 30%.
The report aims to enhance transparency, accountability and public confidence in the judiciary. Justice Zondo says he hopes courts tasked with criminal matters will perform better in future.
“With regard to the reduction of criminal case backlogs, the various divisions of the high court had fixed 30% as their target to which they would reduce the backlog. However, collectively they failed to achieve this target and managed only 49%. On this, they did not do well. It is hoped that in the future they will do better.”
Zondo has also decried the lack of judges and courtrooms for the adjudication of labour matters. He says it is unacceptable that labour matters are not finalised timeously.
Justice Zondo says the labour court has not been able to hear matters since October last year.
“That court needs more posts to be created for judges in order to cope with its workload. In fact, as of October last year, it was not able to sit down any matters for hearing or trial until 2024. That is an unacceptable situation. This is a matter which has been discussed with the executive and they are the ones who need to make decisions concerning the creation of more posts for judges and making available more courtrooms.”
Chief Justice Raymond Zondo presenting the annual judiciary report for the 2021/22 financial year at the Constitutional Court: