Hout Bay crime-fighters have hired top criminal defence attorney William Booth to address shortcomings in the justice system that releases repeat offenders to terrorise the valley again, reports Weekend Argus.

The most recent justice system failure resulted in the murder of Ukranian tourist Ivan Ivanov (44), who was stabbed in the chest after a brief struggle for his backpack just 10m from exiting the hiking trail at East Fort on Chapman’s Peak Drive.

The slaying was the last straw in a series of catch and release sagas involving 18 known offenders who, despite the police’s best efforts, get released on bail by the Wynberg courts to re-offend yet again. Sometimes the repeat offenders appear on the Hout Bay streets again on parole after serving minimal sentences without any alert from Correctional Services, says Weekend Argus.

‘I’ve been approached to assist the prosecutor and the NPA as far as I can on behalf of the Hout Bay community,’ said Booth, confirming his appointment by the neighbourhood watch Community Crime Prevention.

My watching brief is to ensure that the court process is correct and that bail is not granted to the three suspects in the Ivanov murder matter. The community want me to make sure that their views are represented in court and that bail is vigorously and effectively opposed. Often it’s difficult for community members to engage with the prosecution and ensure that their voices are heard. They also don’t often know what evidence needs to be gathered to effectively oppose bail.

The report notes reliable sources say the three who attacked Ivanov are re-offenders who should have been behind bars.

Full Weekend Argus report