The Office of the Judiciary needs about N$1,5 billion to reduce the backlog of court cases in the country.

This is according to Executive Director Bernhardt Kukuri, who says that financial constraints contribute to delays in delivering justice.

The Judiciary's Executive Director presented these challenges to the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Constitutional and Legal Affairs at Swakopmund.

Bernhardt Kukuri says a lack of growth in the budget allocation is among the main challenges the Judiciary is facing.

He also told the committee that of the old courtrooms all over the country, inadequate infrastructure, and the insufficient number of magistrates.

"You need to consider the fact that the current regional court performance is at 16%. We have six regional court magistrates and they have become like roving ambassadors in the country because the one in Oshakati will come to Tsumeb, and from Tsumeb will go to Enhanha, Rundu there's another one, so they are just a small number of them but they have become like periodical courts, so we need to increase the numbers here of the magistrates, regional court magistrates so that at least you have substantive progress on the cases."

Kukuri revealed that the magistrates' courts in the country have the biggest number of non-finalized cases. 

About 64 000 cases were received last year but only 26 000 were finalized.  

"Justice delayed is justice denied, you don't want people waiting too long, they want their documents so that they can go to their lawyers, they launch their appeal in the high court, they go to the Supreme Court, the documentation must be there. The more people are waiting on these things, it creates tension and the nation lose, there is the potential loss of public confidence in the courts." 

The workshop which will consider challenges faced by various public offices, including the Prosecutor General, Anti-Corruption Commission, Ombudsman, and Electoral Commission, and ends on Friday.



Renate Rengura