Justice ministry committed to traffic courts

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WINDHOEK – The Ministry of Justice remains committed to the idea of establishing traffic courts in Windhoek that would deal with the backlog in traffic offences.

“Our ministry’s mandate in that whole project is to give such courts the needed manpower as soon as the building itself is done, which is the task of the Windhoek City Police. The Ministry of Justice remains committed to that obligation,” Simon Tangeni Idipo, senior public relations officer in the Ministry of Justice told New Era on Tuesday.

In February, Adam Eiseb the deputy chief of the Traffic Management Unit of the Windhoek City Police, said that the area identified for the courts is at the City Police premises on the corner of Bismark Street and Sam Nujoma Drive.

NamPol Warrant-Officer Zachariah Amakali was quoted by Nampa early this year as saying 17 923 warrants were issued to motorists who violated traffic laws and who failed to pay admission of guilt fines.
Some of the warrants were issued as far back as 2009.

The Windhoek City Police through its chief, Abraham Kanime, approached the justice ministry on the possibility of coming up with courts that are solely to focus on dealing with traffic and road rules violations.

“The City Police agreed that it will bear the total cost in constructing the two courts for this purpose and the Ministry of Justice’s mandate was and remains to provide the staff that will run the courts. Once these courts are constructed is only when our responsibility comes in. As of now the ministry is still waiting for these buildings (courts) to be finished then we can deploy the personnel to function them,” Idipo informed New Era.

Three years ago, New Era reported a record 35 218 warrants of arrest were pending against thousands of drivers in Windhoek alone, 12 335 of which are outstanding warrants for the arrest of taxi drivers.

Last year, Eiseb said the creation of municipal courts could go a long way in reducing pressure when it comes to dealing with traffic offences.

The proposition to create municipal courts has nothing to do with increasing revenue, he said. He added that he was not happy with the fact that traffic offences are viewed as less important in magistrates’ courts compared to other offences.

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