Page last updated at 11:47 GMT, Monday, 23 November 2009

South Africa to fast-track World Cup crime hearings

The 2010 World Cup logo
World Cup host South Africa is one of the world's most violent countries

South Africa is to set up special courts to quickly deal with crime committed during the 2010 World Cup.

The government hopes the fast-track system will enable visitors to give evidence while still in the country and therefore act as a deterrent.

A total of 54 courts will operate in the nine World Cup host cities.

The justice ministry says if any foreigners are involved in crimes, as victims or perpetrators, their cases will receive priority.

South Africa is one of the world's most violent countries, but since President Jacob Zuma took office in May the government has made fighting crime a priority.

There is not going to be any leniency
Tlali Tlali

South African justice ministry

"The experience from previous host countries has shown the influx of foreign nationals in World Cups also potentially increases criminal activities," a statement from the justice ministry said.

Spokesman Tlali Tlali added: "The courts are here to speed up the process. There is not going to be any leniency."

The cost of the scheme will be about one million rand ($135,000; £81,250) and judges, lawyers and volunteers will all receive special training.

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