To ensure the judicial system is not delayed should incidents involving foreigners occur during the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup and 2010 FIFA World Cup, court interpreters are being trained in foreign languages.
The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development has embarked on mass language training courses as part of South Africa’s preparations for the influx of hundreds of thousands of foreigners for the tournaments.
“Recently ten court interpreters from different justice offices attended a six week French language course at Kobo Segole.
“To prepare for the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup and 2010 FIFA World Cup, the department has identified language practitioners to be trained in different foreign languages.
“Among the languages identified is French, which is predominantly used across the African continent,” said department spokesperson Isaac Mokaila, Wednesday.
Provincial Head of Justice and Constitutional Development Tsietsi Malema said the department currently had a group of interpreters doing outstanding work.
“Presently we have a pool of court interpreters performing tremendous work. We agreed as a region to increase court interpreters so as to be ready to deal with high volumes of cases that might arise during and after 2009 Confederation Cup and 2010 FIFA World Cup.
“The training involves the completion of a six module interpretation course offered by Wits University.
“The department is impressed by the dedication, commitment and work done by court interpreters in our courts.
“Their work does not go unnoticed. We need such a cadre of people in order to continue improving the lives of our people,” said Mr Malema.
Provincial court interpreter Charles Lolwane said he wishes all court interpreters enrolled for the various language courses the best of luck, as proficiency in the identified languages will facilitate the smooth running of courts during the tournaments.
According to the 2010 FIFA World Cup Government Mid-Term Report, “The Department is charged with the responsibility of administering criminal justice [covering court appearances and ensuring that the justice system is not compromised] during the events.
“Furthermore, a budget has been allocated for the upgrading of court facilities.”
Structures for the administration of justice have been established and the Steering Committee, a 2010 Project Office, and regional teams are in full operation.
With regard to project deliverables, training of language interpreters (to streamline the legal process should there be any incidents involving foreigners) has commenced.
The existing infrastructure will be expanded and human resource capacity will be increased, in world cup host cities, in particular.