“Zuma should not have been shackled”

Duduzane Zuma, the son of scandal-plagued former South African president Jacob Zuma, arrives at the Johannesburg's Specialised Commercial Crime court on charges of corruption, in Johannesburg, South Africa, July 9,2018. REUTERS/Siphiwe Sibeko

Justice Minister, Michael Masutha, says former President Jacob Zuma’s son, Duduzane Zuma, should not have been shackled during his appearance in the Johannesburg Specialised Commercial Crimes Court.

Pictures of Zuma in leg irons stirred up outrage on social media earlier this week.

Minister, who recently spent time in hospital, was speaking at the end of an Imbizo which focused on two courts in Gauteng.

Against his doctor’s orders, Minister Masutha visited the Specialised Commercial Crimes Court in Johannesburg.

This after former President Jacob Zuma’s son, Duduzane Zuma, appeared in the court wearing leg irons.

Minister Masutha says officials explained that, because the court is located in a converted office block, there are no cells to secure accused persons.

“They at some point tightened security measures where there were incidents of escape in the past as well as incidents of suicide apparently about six months ago. It is apparent to me even before I get a full report that what transpired in that court on that day is not ideal. That is not how the situation should have occurred.”

Servicing one of the largest townships in the country, the Tembisa Magistrates Court is one of fifty new courts erected since the dawn of democracy.

Officials there complain that the court’s services, including the estate’s office and small claims court, are under-utilised.

Following a walkabout at the court, Minister Masutha addressed the packed community hall.

“All expenses that the government is incurring every month to make this court work for no other purpose than to ensure that Tembisa people have full access to justice.”

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