Walking into the Johannesburg high court, you are sprayed with hand sanitiser by a security guard wearing a face mask and gloves.
After chief justice Mogoeng Mogoeng’s announcement that SA courts will not shut down amid the coronavirus outbreak, courts have started implementing hygiene measures.
In a media briefing on Tuesday, Mogoeng spoke about the judiciary’s response to the pandemic and what decontamination measures will be in place.
Some of these measures included:
- limit of people in courtroom will not be exceeded;
- disinfecting courtrooms, cells and detention facilities, offices, lifts, vehicles, biometrics at least twice a day; and
- gloves and masks for court officials and inmates.
nside the high court, the biometric system has been disabled and individuals are ushered in using an automatic sliding door. Court rooms have hand sanitisers and a box of gloves for court officials.
During proceedings, individuals are instructed to sit one metre apart to enforce social distancing.
Other sterilisation measures mentioned by Mogoeng included measuring the temperatures of people coming into courts.
The Johannesburg Attorney’s Association cancelled the candidate attorney’s high court tour scheduled for March 19 due to precautions courts are taking to avoid large numbers of people in small spaces.
On Monday, Gauteng judge president Dunstan Mlambo said there will be limited public access to courts in Gauteng until April.
“No member of the public is permitted to enter the court building or to attend any hearings, whether civil or criminal, as a spectator. Only practitioners, witnesses and accused persons are permitted to attend,” said Mlambo.