Loadshedding causes denied justice in Siphokazi Booi case – Action Society

“It is now not only the faulty legal system failing victims of violent crime, but also the lack of contingency leading to delayed, and in turn, denied justice,” said Kaylynn Palm, Action Centre coordinator at Action Society.

The community of Mbekweni will have to wait another five months for answers – after the court postponed the murder case of Siphokazi Booi to April 2023. Action Society, this week, supported the family of Booi – who was brutally murdered last year September – in court. The suspect, Sithobele Qebe, known as Rasta in the community, appeared in the Paarl Regional Court.

Booi’s body was chopped up, stuffed into a wheelie bin, burnt and dumped near the railway in Mbekweni.

For two days – the family and supporters of Booi filled three benches in the courtroom; however, the trial could not continue due to loadshedding.

“Siphokazi’s family has already waited for more than a year to attend court for this matter,” said Palm. “The court postponed the matter on Monday due to loadshedding – and on Tuesday, loadshedding delayed proceedings for four and a half hours.

“We see this sort of issue in most courts in the Western Cape. There’s no contingency plan or backup power supply for matters to continue. It is just one of many issues in the failing justice system,” she said.

Palm added that the witnesses were present for two days waiting to testify – but it was a complete waste of time for them.

“It is already daunting for witnesses to testify in a court of law. Now they have to wait even longer. These people put time aside to be at court, some leaving work and families to be at court, but all they do is sit on the hard wooden benches as time passes. It’s not fair to them.

” Siphokazi’s family and supporters made their way to court for two days – just to be disappointed. They all want justice. They want the man who allegedly took her life to be behind bars,” she said.

Action Society has kept a close eye on this case and will continue to do so when the case continues.

Is there justice in SA?

At Action Society, we often see delays in the justice system. What do you think? Have you experienced this too?

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