The IFP calls for a reliable and durable protection for witnesses who stand up for truth and justice following the death of Sipho Ndovela who was gunned down at the Umlazi court, South of Durban.
“Witnesses who stand up for truth and justice must be guaranteed reliable and durable protection, including legal and psychological support and robust physical protection before, during and after the trial. Witnesses can be particularly vulnerable to perceived or actual threats and intimidation from perpetrators of crimes against themselves and or people close to them, especially in cases of murder, organised crime and terrorism,” said IFP KZN Spokesperson on Community Safety, Mr Blessed Gwala MPL.
“Witness protection is often sorely lacking, and progress towards formalised and functioning witness protection services has been slow. Among citizens, awareness of these issues also remains limited. These circumstances make it difficult to envisage how the rule of law may become a reality for South African citizens,” continued Mr Gwala.
“Further steps need to be taken in the area of witness protection, notably setting up, or if need be, revisiting witness protection mechanisms; allocating appropriate financial and human resources to bodies dealing with the protection of witnesses; and reconsidering rules on mitigating sentences and granting immunity from prosecution in cases of organised crime and terrorism in order to provide greater incentives to collaborators of justice to co-operate with the authorities,” concluded Mr Gwala.
The IFP believes that much still has to be done to advance research, training and legislation to inform and support the protection of witnesses.
IFP KZN Spokesperson on Community Safety,
Mr Blessed Gwala MPL, 078 290 5842
For Media Queries:
Mr Phendulani Biyase,
IFP KZN Legislature Media Officer, 073 024 5675