Question NW792 to the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services
19 May 2023 - NW792
Horn, Mr W to ask the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services
With reference to his reply to oral question 55 on 1 March 2023, what number of the 15 605 sexual offences cases he reported to have been on the criminal case backlog roll as at 31 December 2021 were (a) withdrawn and (b) finalised with a guilty verdict?
As indicated in the oral reply question 55 given on 01 March 2023, the number of sexual offences backlog cases have declined since 31 December 2021 and thus the number of sexual offences backlog cases as at 31 December 2022 is significantly lower than the year before.
With regards to the number of sexual offences backlog cases as at 31 December 2021 (a) 2844 charges were withdrawn,
(b) of the 2797 cases finalized with a verdict, 1844 cases were finalized with a guilty verdict.
We remain concerned about the high rates of charges withdrawal and attrition in cases sexual offences. However, it must be noted that the December 2021 period fell within the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic when the restrictions of COVID-19 regulations were still operational. This inevitably led to a decline in the number of witnesses and accused persons who came to court and this unfortunately contributed to a higher figure of withdrawn charges. However, it should be noted that some cases are subsequently reinstated on the court roll as soon as the challenges that led to the withdrawal of the charges had been resolved.