The arrest of 9 City Councillors yesterday (Cape Argus: 9 councillors bust for fines: http://bit.ly/raNILH) is good in principle.
Whilst it is true that elected public representatives should ensure they remain above reproach on such things at all times, the warrant-for-arrest system needs significant tightening up.
- Firstly, posted fines are not necessarily received by the person being fined.
- Secondly, the owner (whose postal address is used) is not necessarily the driver.
- Thirdly, when the warrant is served, any persons signature can be appended – supposedly confirming receipt (by the legally responsible person).
What the court then views as ‘contempt’, for not being present, is seemingly based on the assumption that in each of these steps in the process, the legally responsible person has received the documents yet has willfully chosen to not appear in court.
Copy and paste this url for the original Cape Argus article: http://bit.ly/raNILH.
I’m still trying to work out how to attach a hot link and thumbnail in the way Facebook allows.