Incomplete dockets a major concern

Leoni Kruger
LEPHALALE — Mr Makhote from the National Prosecution Authority (NPA) in Lephalale, confirmed that the quality of police dockets arriving on his desk are a problem.
“The Criminal Sexual Conduct (CSC) people should be educated in getting a thorough explanation and details. There is a lot of room for improvement” he said.
An incomplete docket is the start of an unsuccessful prosecution as you can only work with what you have” he said.
Makhote said he knows there are drug busts every weekend, but all the suspects are treated as users and not as dealers. “In court there must be proof that there was an exchange of money – it is a challenge – if there is no exchange of money you cannot prove that the person was dealing with drugs, you can only charge him for use of or possession of drugs” he explained.
Makhote assured Thys Eloff, chairperson of the Lephalale Community Policing Forum (CPF) that he, as a prosecutor, usually fines a first offender a fine of R1 000. A second offender usually has to go to court and a third offender is usually charged with direct imprisonment of between five to six years. From five offences and up, the case is referred to the regional court and they usually get 15 years’ imprisonment.
He assured the meeting that it is not a fruitless exercise to arrest these people.
Eloff suggested that the CPF assist in the compilation of dockets as they are mostly on the scene of a crime before the SAPS and they can provide highlighters to assist in achieving more complete dockets.

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