Thursday, May 11, 2006

Granny goes to Court

The subpoena told her to present herself today at Room No 5, the second floor of the Wynberg Magistrates Court, at 8:30am. Jenny’s mother, at 81yrs of age, was understandably nervous. She had never been to court in her life before.

It all began with her walking home from the supermarket. Like many senior citizen ladies (sounds better than old ladies – although I have also heard the term “geris”!) she carries a big handbag. This is necessary, because she carries identity document, tissues, cheque book, tissues, spare house keys, tissues, bank cards, tissues, medical card, glasses, drivers licence, medication, a wad of cash, oh yes – did I mention tissues? And the inevitable happened: a man rushed her from behind, pushed her over, and ran off with her hand bag. Well – not quite – because Granny hung grimly onto the strap, until it broke. And the amazing happened! Cars stopped in the road, people jumped out and chased after the man. And in Granny’s words, “a very scruffy young man caught him.” The police were summoned and bundled the robber into the back of the van. They took Granny to the Diep River Police Station trauma centre where Gloria was wonderfully caring and helpful. Later, with a plaster on her arm, a cup of tea in her system, and her statement given, she had nothing but praise for the treatment of the South African Police.

Today the man – contemptuously termed a rob-klong (robber boy) by our domestic worker - appeared in court. Granny was determined to give her testimony “so that he will not do it again”. By 8:30 the court was full of family and friends of all those who would be involved in the various cases of the day. The first case was delayed because the magistrate was given the wrong docket. Granny’s case came up, but the defendant was “still being transported from Pollsmoore Prison”. Another three cases were called, and each had incomplete paper work. The magistrate barely hid her frustration. There were a string of cases where people asked for the public defender, and so had their cases, remanded. There was much muttering at the front between the magistrate and the prosecutors. After two hours of waiting the rob-klong appeared, and pleaded guilty. Granny’s day in court was over before it began!

Justice was seen to be done.
Thank you to those who helped in apprehending the robber. Thank you to the police and the detective who took an interest in the case. When people are willing to pursue due process, rule of law is respected.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love it! Go Granny............