Monday was semi-productive. I went to Protea court. Yes, again. One my classmates said: “Seems to me like all you do is go to court.” Well, this is after all the site of my research; the courthouse. It would be rather strange if I wasn’t in court as often as I could to collect data.
I went with Nandi and Charlotte. On Friday I had set up meetings with; a magistrate, two public prosecutors, an interpreter and the most importantly the court manager. I made sure that I emailed the court manager about the topic im dealing with and what I needed from her. No response. I was still eager when Monday rolled around and walked into her office with confidence. It took all of 10 seconds for me to realise she wasn’t having any of the “I’m a Wits student and I need help” shpeel. She barely looked up from her computer screen the whole time I was in there. So anyway, she refused to give me the court budget because I am not a “’public entity’ like the public protector”. Every alternative I suggested was met with a casual “no, I have final say… I’m the court manager.”
I left to find all the other people who had agreed to see me that day. Which was more work than I thought because I literally had to go peeking into rooms that they might be in after their offices were vacant. When I found one prosecutor she strode past me with an apologetic smile “So sorry, I can’t right now…still in court…cant you find somebody else,” she said. As it turned out, not really.
In the end I managed to get some statistics about the court roll and the number of new cases the court gets. One prosecutor agreed to talk to me, even then she didn’t want to be identified.
I don’t understand why people in the justice system are so inaccessible? Aren’t they supposed to be serving the public? Being helpful and transparent? Also we had a meeting but most importantly I spoke to T.J who helped me conceptualise my multimedia project which is meant to complement the main written piece but also stand alone (If I understood correctly).
After my meeting with Ruth and T.J yesterday I thought I should better try and plan a little better going forward. So I emailed the Protea court manager to again in order to set up a meeting. If she doesn’t get back to me, I will call and then just go over there. I also contacted Randburg to ask for camera access, they have yet to respond to me but I am optimistic.
I’m hoping to commission the help of a classmate of mine who is brilliant with illustrator, Anina, to help me with my infographics. After another classmate of ours said we were all just “jumping on the infographics bandwagon” because we thought it was easy. I will refrain from being as puerile as she was in this post.
Also I have run out of airtime and money to be taking taxis everyday to the courts. That’s not encouraging at all.