Pistorius, Dewani cases ‘shifted view of justice’
MURDER trials such as those of Oscar Pistorius and Shrien Dewani probably influenced the results of a new victims of crime survey to be released next month.
The survey, compiled by Statistics South Africa, looks at how households see the judicial system and feel about crime. It also spotlights the public’s confidence in the police.
A similar survey in 2013/14, the findings of which were released in April, showed 75.1 percent of families who were satisfied with the police were satisfied with the courts.
It also showed a small percentage of households who were satisfied with the police attended courts, while 87.9 percent did not feel the need to.
Statistics SA said findings that implied confidence in the police predicted confidence in the criminal justice system.
Speaking at the 6th annual Institute for Security Studies conference in Sandton yesterday, Joseph Lukhwareni, manager of crime and safety at Stats SA, said the Pistorius and Dewani murder trials had created awareness of the judicial system.
“They have changed how the public views the courts.
“It could be for better or for worse. For instance, when it comes to the sentencing of Pistorius, some people may say the judiciary was at the top of its game, while some may not think so.
“We have been interested in what people have had to say while collating our data.
“Events are seasonal and therefore nothing is the same. People may find they are confident in the police now because of how they have handled a certain case.
“This won’t be the same at a later stage.”