New coronavirus rules for South African courts and legal cases

Chief Justice of the Republic of South Africa, Mogoeng Mogoeng, has issued a new directive which will place tighter restrictions on courts to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

The directive – which was issued on Friday (19 March) for a period of 60 days – state that only people with a material interest in a case will be admitted into the country’s courts.

These include:

  • Litigants;
  • Accused;
  • Witnesses, those who may be needed to provide support such as those accompanying children;
  • Victims of domestic violence and/or sexual abuse, elderly and people with disabilities;
  • Family members;
  • Representatives of special interest or support groups and members of the media.

The directive says non-essential visitors will only be allowed into the court precinct with the permission of the head of court.

“Audio-visual remand centres in Correctional Centres linked to Magistrates Court must be used for purposes of the postponement of cases where accused persons are in custody,” Mogoeng said.

“No witnesses who are in foreign countries shall be summonsed to attend a trial in the Republic and in instances where such cases cannot be postponed to a further date such testimony may be obtained through electronic mean.”

You can read the official directive below:

Justice Department Directive by BusinessTech on Scribd


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New coronavirus rules for South African courts and legal cases