Geingob wants delays and backlog in criminal cases addressed

06 Feb 2019 15:20pm
WINDHOEK, 06 FEB (NAMPA) – President Hage Geingob has called on all institutions involved in the criminal justice system to avoid long delays of cases and backlogs which lead to accused persons roaming around in public.
Geingob made the call when he officially opened the 2019 Legal Year at the Supreme Court on Wednesday.
“This public frustration is attributed to the long delays between arrest, appointment of legal aid counsel, first appearance at court and the ultimate finalisation of criminal cases, justice delayed is justice denied,” he explained.
The High Court finalised 34 criminal trials out of 114 pending cases carried over from 2017 and 43 new cases from 2018, which translates to a 22 per cent success rate.
The Namibian leader also recognised that judicial officers and prosecutors are faced with holding accused persons in custody or releasing them due to underfunding that leads to postponement in resolving criminal cases.
However, he urged the officials to find avenues to improve service delivery because “we cannot safeguard the lives of our most vulnerable citizens when we have criminals released back on the streets due to a backlog of cases”.
Furthermore, Geingob expressed concern in the predominance of gender-based violence cases in the Namibian community.
“It is a source of great concern that we continue to lose innocent lives, especially those of women and girls, as a result of gender-based violence, perpetrated mostly by men,” he noted.
Geingob pointed out that the unjust laws of the past regimes should be replaced with just laws to combat a number of social disorders that hinder the country’s socio-economic progress.
“Our people cannot continue to be subjected to archaic and discriminatory laws anymore,” he defended.
Geingob stated that the ‘year of accountability’ greatly applies to the judiciary as well.
“An efficient and effective administration of justice would greatly assist in gaining the confidence of our people in our efforts to attain meaningful political and socio-economic development and social justice,” Geingob stressed.