Social Development Minister, Lindiwe Zulu, says she is disappointed with the manner in which the Judiciary is handling gender-based violence cases.
Zulu’s comments follow Monday’s delay in the trial of Ntuthuko Shoba, a man accused of masterminding the killing of Tshegofatso Pule.
The minister said she is disappointed with legal representatives who don’t honour court dates.
“It’s frustrating for the judge to be waiting there [for the lawyers to come] and being told this one can’t come. Firstly, the accused are all here, the legal system of government is sitting there waiting,” she said.
Zulu said the high levels of gender-based violence and femicide (GBVF) in the country would only be defeated if behavioural change is prioritised.
“Behavioural change is one of the things that will assist us as South Africans in general. Because GBV has no colour, status or where you are or what you have or don’t have, but unfortunately those who are in difficult situations the numbers seem to be much more,” she said.
Shoba’s lawyer, Norman Makhubela, arrived later in the day and asked for a postponement on the basis that he didn’t have enough time and proper consultation area.
“The consultation environment is such that it doesn’t do justice to privacy...around us there are other people who are consulting. The consultations are only limited to Fridays, which is not enough,” he said.
Shoba is facing charges of murder, conspiracy to commit murder and defeating the ends of justice.
Judge Karen William postponed the trial to 17 January next year.