Acting Chief Justice Raymond Zondo on Tuesday revealed in his annual review that the Constitutional Court missed its targets of “finalised matters and the actual performance”.
Speaking on Judiciary Day Justice Zondo said: “The Constitutional Court had set for itself a target of 70% of finalised matters. It had 445 matters and finalised 273 of those. That was a 61% performance”.
Justice Zondo, who was in charge of the Constitutional Court when Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng took long leave ahead of his retirement in October, added: “Although it fell short of its target, there was a 10% increase in its caseload.”
Commenting on his predecessor’s tenure, Justice Zondo said: “I take this opportunity to thank Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng on behalf of the Judiciary of this country for his great leadership of the Judiciary over a period of ten years.
“I thank him, too, for the enormous contribution he made during his term of office as Chief Justice to the building of a strong, independent, effective and efficient Judiciary.”
In his report back to the public, Zondo said the Supreme Court of Appeal had set for itself a target of 80% of finalised matters during the period under review that was affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“It had a total of 241 matters and it finalised 196 of those. That was an achievement of 81%,” said the acting chief justice.
“In regard to its applications or petitions it finalised 99%. It had a 1% over achievement in respect of finalized matters.”
Acting Chief Justice Zondo said the divisions of the high court had set for themselves the target of 75% of finalised criminal matters and they achieved 85%.
He said the various divisions of the High Court had a total of 11 413 criminal cases and they finalised 9 749 of those cases.
“That translated to 85%. That was a great achievement. They exceeded their target,” said Zondo.
“They had set for themselves the target of 64% finalised civil matters. They had a total of 83 080 civil cases and finalised 69 908 of those cases. That translated to 84%.”
“That means that the divisions of the high court exceeded their target by 20%. That was a pleasing performance.”
The acting chief justice said these divisions of the high court also set for themselves the target of reducing the percentage of criminal trial backlogs to 30%.
“They were not able to achieve this target but they reduced the percentage of criminal trial backlogs to 41%. They were 11% short of their target,” said Justice Zondo.
The Labour Court and the Labour Appeal Court had set for themselves the target of 58% finalised labour matters.
They were unable to achieve that target but achieved 52%. They had 4 168 cases and finalised 2 188. The Land Claims Court had set for itself the target of 60% finalised matters.
It had a total of 149 cases and finalised 108 of them. That translated to the achievement of 72%. That was 12 % above the target.
The Competition Appeal Court had set for itself a target of 85% finalised matters.
It had a total of 10 cases and it did all of them and, therefore, achieved 100% which was 15% above the target it had set for itself.
The Electoral Court had set for itself the target of 90% finalised matters. It received a total of 9 cases all which it did and, therefore, achieved 100% of finalised matters which was 10% above the target it had set for itself.
All the divisions of the high court had set for themselves the target of reducing the backlog of criminal trials to 30%.
However, many of the divisions failed to achieve that target. Only about three divisions of the high court managed to reduce the backlog of criminal trials.
“All superior courts had set for themselves the target of 70% finalised reserved judgments,” said Justice Zondo.
“They collectively exceeded this target by 8% and achieved 78% finalised reserved judgments.”