ANC Daily News Briefing/Sapa, 23 June 2008

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More than a thousand people have appeared in 217 court cases country wide in connection with the recent violent attacks against foreigners, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) said on Monday. In some instances, trial dates have been set, but in many others the cases have been postponed for further investigation, bail applications or applications for legal aid, NPA spokesman Tlali Tlali told Sapa. He said in the Western Cape, three special courts had been set up to deal with the cases. "They are likely to be fully operational once these cases are ripe to go to trial," Tlali said. Many of the cases however already proceeded in the normal courts and Tlali said a "needs-based" approach would be used to determine if any other special courts were needed. One of the cases that have not been resolved is that of Ernesto Alfabeto Nhamuave who died when a mob mutilated him before setting him alight. The picture of him burning became a symbol of the attacks on foreigners, but police said his attackers had not yet been arrested. "The investigation is continuing, no one has been arrested," said spokesman for the police in Gauteng, Superintendent Eugene Opperman. The latest attacks on immigrants to South Africa, both documented and undocumented, began on May 12 in Johannesburg's Alexandra township and spread to parts of the country, leaving at least 62 people dead, 1,400 arrested and 17,000 displaced, according to police.