Justice and Correctional Companies | South African Authorities

Department of Justice and Constitutional Development
The courts
National register for sex offenders
National Child Protection Register
Domestic violence
Human trafficking
Drug abuse
Role players
Public Protector
Department of Correctional Services
Medical Parole Advisory Board
Correctional Supervision and Parole Board








Cover page of Justice and Correctional Services chapter in Pocket Guide to South Africa

Division of Justice and Constitutional Improvement

The DoJ&CD derives its mandate from a lot of Acts, along with the mandate it derives from the Structure of the Republic of South Africa of 1996.

These Acts and the constitutional framework assign features to the division, such because the:

  • institution of Justice of the Peace’s courts, and the appointment of magistrates and different judicial officers;
  • appointment of judges and different judicial officers, their situations of service, self-discipline and coaching;
  • institution and functioning of the Nationwide Prosecuting Authority (NPA);
  • conducting of felony proceedings;
  • the prosecution of organised crime and corruption, and the forfeiture of belongings obtained by way of illicit means;
  • provision of witness safety to susceptible and intimidated witnesses and their associated individuals in judicial proceedings;
  • institution and functioning of our bodies answerable for authorized assist, legislation reform and rule making;
  • appointment of masters of the excessive courts;
  • administration of third‐occasion funds;
  • administration of the Guardian’s Fund and deceased and bancrupt estates;
  • regulation and provision of authorized advisory companies to authorities departments;
  • administration of state litigation;
  • promotion, safety and enforcement of human rights; and
  • safety of susceptible teams; and the supply of assist to Chapter 9 establishments.

Chapter 12 of the Nationwide Improvement Plan units out a imaginative and prescient for constructing and sustaining protected communities in South Africa by way of, amongst different issues, strengthening the felony justice system.

This imaginative and prescient is expressed by way of Precedence 5 (social cohesion and protected communities) of presidency’s 2019‐2024 Medium Time period Strategic Framework. The work of the DoJ&CD is instantly aligned with this precedence in {that a} nicely‐functioning felony justice system supplies reduction to victims of crime, protects susceptible teams and swiftly acts in opposition to perpetrators of corrupt actions.

To this finish, over the medium time period the division will deal with: implementing the built-in felony justice technique, eradicating gender-based violence and femicide (GBVF), and strengthening the state’s functionality to fight corruption.

Implementing the built-in felony justice technique

The best deterrent to felony exercise is an environment friendly and efficient felony justice system.

The Built-in Felony Justice Technique goals to enhance the effectivity of the felony justice system by way of aligning the enterprise processes of assorted stakeholders within the felony justice system, bettering and strengthening the capabilities of the felony justice system, and coordinating built-in interventions throughout the felony justice worth chain. The division leads the implementation of the technique within the justice, crime prevention and safety cluster.

Eradicating GBVF

A standard criticism levelled in opposition to the State is its ineffectiveness to answer the disaster of rape, home violence, femicide, youngster murder and associated types of GBV. In response, authorities has developed the Nationwide Strategic Plan (NSP) on GBVF, which requires massive‐scale adjustments within the felony justice system.

In March 2020, Cupboard accredited the NSP on GBVF, which relies on the next six pillars:

  • Accountability, Management and Coordination;
  • Prevention and Restoration of Social Material;
  • Safety, Security and Justice;
  • Response, Care, Assist and Therapeutic;
  • Financial Empowerment; and
  • Analysis and Data techniques.

To make sure a seamless transformation course of, coaching in producing speedy outcomes can even be undertaken in any respect ranges of administration. In contributing to constructing a sufferer‐centric felony justice system, the NPA will improve the variety of Thuthuzela care centres from 55 in 2019/20 to 60 in 2022/23.

Strengthening the State’s functionality to fight corruption

In responding to the pressing have to fight corruption in South Africa, the NPA has been allotted extra funding.

The funds will likely be used to extend capability in all enterprise items; rejuvenate the aspirant prosecutor coaching programme; and operationalise an investigative directorate to take care of severe, excessive‐profile or complicated corruption, and another instances referred to it by the nationwide director of public prosecutions in accordance with the NPA Act of 1998.

The NPA was anticipated to extend the variety of specialised business crime courts. The Particular Investigating Unit was additionally to nominate forensic investigators and operationalise the Particular Tribunal, which has a statutory mandate to recuperate public funds syphoned from the fiscus by way of corruption, fraud and illicit cash flows.

Workplace of the Chief Justice (OCJ) and Judicial Administration

The Workplace of the Chief Justice and Judicial Administration derives its mandate of offering efficient administrative and technical assist to the Chief Justice as the top of the Judiciary and the Constitutional Courtroom from Part 165(6) of the Structure of the Republic of South Africa of 1996, learn along with the Superior Courts Act of 2013.

The mandate has the next supplementary features: present and coordinate authorized and administrative assist to the Chief Justice; present communication and relationship administration companies; present intergovernmental and inside coordination companies; develop administration insurance policies for courts; assist the event of judicial coverage, norms and requirements; assist the judicial perform of the Constitutional Courtroom; and assist the Judicial Service Fee and South African Judicial Schooling Institute within the execution of their mandates.

The courts

Constitutional Courtroom

The Constitutional Courtroom as the very best courtroom within the land and its selections can’t be modified by another courtroom.

The Constitutional Courtroom, primarily based at Structure Hill in Johannesburg, is presided over by 11 judges who stand guard over the Structure and shield everybody’s human rights. When an individual, an organisation or an organization shouldn’t be glad with any resolution of the Excessive Courtroom on any matter; they will strategy the Constitutional Courtroom for a overview of that call. Regular enchantment issues are nevertheless handled on the Supreme Courtroom of Enchantment (SCA).

Supreme Courtroom of Enchantment (SCA)

The SCA, located in Bloemfontein within the Free State, has Jurisdiction to listen to and decide an enchantment any resolution of a Excessive Courtroom. Aside from the Constitutional Courtroom, no different courtroom can change a choice of the SCA. Solely the SCA can change one in all its personal selections. The SCA consists of a President, Deputy President and 23 completely appointed judges.

Excessive courts

The Excessive Courtroom handles any case which exceeds the jurisdiction of the Magistrates’ Courtroom or when an individual or organisation goes to the courtroom to alter a choice of a Magistrates’ Courtroom, which implies interesting a case. Instances of the Excessive Courtroom are listened to by one Decide, that means an individual with a few years of sensible expertise.

Nevertheless, if it’s a case on enchantment, then no less than two Judges should hear the case. Generally if the case is a couple of very severe crime then a Decide and two skilled individuals in legislation who’re normally advocates or Magistrates who’ve retired, will take heed to the case. The 2 individuals are known as assessors. The assessors normally assist the Decide to decide.

The Excessive Courtroom divisions have “jurisdiction” – the appropriate to listen to a case – over outlined provincial areas wherein they’re located, and the selections of the Excessive Courtroom are binding on Magistrates’ courts inside their areas of jurisdiction. They normally solely hear civil issues involving greater than R100 000, and severe felony instances. In addition they hear any appeals or opinions from decrease courts (Magistrates’ courts) which fall of their geographical jurisdiction. The Excessive Courtroom normally hears any matter involving an individual’s standing akin to adoption and insolvency.

There are 14 excessive courts: the Japanese Cape Excessive courts in Grahamstown, Port Elizabeth, Mthatha and Bhisho; the Free State Excessive Courtroom in Bloemfontein; the North Gauteng Excessive Courtroom in Pretoria; the South Gauteng Excessive Courtroom in Johannesburg; the KwaZulu-Natal Excessive courts in Pietermaritzburg and Durban; the Limpopo Excessive Courtroom in Thohoyandou; the Northern Cape Excessive Courtroom, Kimberley; the North West Excessive Courtroom, Mafikeng; and the Western Cape Excessive Courtroom in Cape City and Mpumalanga Excessive Courtroom in Mbombela.

The next specialist excessive courts train nationwide jurisdiction:

  • The Labour Courtroom and Labour Enchantment Courtroom in Braamfontein, Gauteng, which adjudicate over labour disputes and listen to labour appeals, respectively.
  • The Land Claims Courtroom, in Randburg, Gauteng, which hears issues on the restitution of land rights that folks misplaced after 1913 on account of racially discriminatory land legal guidelines.
  • The Competitors Enchantment Courtroom, located in Cape City, which offers with appeals from the Competitors Tribunal.
  • The Electoral Courtroom, located in Bloemfontein, which sits primarily throughout elections to take care of related disputes.
  • The Tax Courtroom, located in Pretoria, which offers with tax-related issues, together with noncompliance with tax obligations.

Regional courts

Regional courts are established largely in accordance with provincial boundaries with a regional courtroom division for every province to listen to issues inside their jurisdiction.

Magistrates’ courts

Magistrates’ courts are the decrease courts which take care of much less severe felony and civil instances. They’re divided into Regional courts and District courts. In Felony courts, the State prosecutes individuals for breaking the legislation. Felony courts will be divided into two teams: Regional Magistrates’ Courts and Abnormal Magistrates’ Courts (additionally known as District Courts).

At present, Regional Magistrates’ Courts solely take care of felony instances whereas the District Magistrates’ Courts take care of felony and civil instances. The Justice of the Peace makes the selections in a Magistrates’ Courtroom; typically with the assist of lay assessors. Magistrates’ Courts will be divided into both felony courts or civil courts. The Regional Magistrates’ Courts take care of extra severe instances than the bizarre Magistrates’ Courts akin to homicide, rape, armed theft and severe assault. When it comes to the Felony Legislation (Sentencing) Modification Act of 2007, a Regional Magistrates’ Courtroom can sentence an individual who has been discovered responsible of offences that embody homicide or rape to imprisonment for all times.

The courtroom may sentence individuals who have been discovered responsible of sure offences akin to armed theft or stealing a motorcar to jail for a interval as much as 20 years. A Regional Magistrates’ Courtroom can impose a most positive of R300 000. Regional courts now have civil jurisdiction to the extent that divorce issues can now be heard there. District courts attempt the much less severe instances. They can’t attempt instances of homicide, treason, rape, terrorism, or sabotage.

They will sentence an individual to a most of three years in jail or a most positive of R100 000. Abnormal Magistrates’ Courts can hear civil instances when the claims are for lower than R100 000. They can’t take care of sure issues akin to divorces, arguments about an individual’s will and issues the place it’s requested if an individual is mentally sane or not.

Small claims courts

Small Claims courts provide members of the general public a faster and simpler approach of resolving disputes that contain quantities restricted to R15 000 and so they can achieve this with out the necessity for a authorized consultant.

Equality courts

Equality courts are courts designed to take care of issues coated by the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act of 2000, often known as the Equality Act. Members of the general public convey to the courtroom issues akin to unfair discrimination, harassment, hate speech and the publication of data that discriminates unfairly.

Group courts

Group courts, such because the Hatfield Group Courtroom in Pretoria, are regular district magistrates’ courts that help in coping with issues in partnership with the group Justice and Correctional Companies Official Information to South Africa 2019/20 6 and enterprise. These courts deal with restorative justice processes, akin to diverting younger offenders into appropriate programmes.

Conventional courts

There are conventional courts (previously chiefs’ courts) established at conventional group areas in rural villages.

Sexual offences courts

The courts function specifically educated officers, procedures and tools to cut back the possibility of secondary trauma for victims.

Nationwide register for intercourse offenders (NRSO)

The NRSO is a report of names of these discovered responsible of sexual offences in opposition to youngsters and mentally disabled individuals.

The register offers employers within the public or non-public sectors akin to colleges, crèches and hospitals the appropriate to verify that the particular person being employed is match to work with youngsters or mentally disabled individuals.

Nationwide Little one Safety Register

When it comes to Part 126 of the Youngsters’s Act of 2005, employers providing companies which permit for entry to youngsters should, earlier than using an individual, set up from the Registrar of the Nationwide Little one Safety Register whether or not or not the potential worker’s identify is on Half B of the Nationwide Little one Safety Register.

If the potential worker’s identify seems on the register, she or he won’t be allowed to work in an setting which permits for entry to youngsters, since individuals whose names seem on the register have been discovered unsuitable to work with youngsters by the courtroom.


Upkeep is the duty to supply one other particular person, for instance a minor, with housing, meals, clothes, training and medical care, or with the means which might be obligatory for offering the particular person with these necessities.

As a part of additional bettering the upkeep system, the Upkeep Modification Act of 2015 was enacted to make sure that each youngster receives the suitable parental care, fundamental diet, shelter, fundamental heathcare companies, training and different associated assist. The modification additionally ensures the blacklisting of defaulters.

Home violence

Home violence means any bodily abuse, sexual abuse, emotional, verbal and psychological abuse, financial abuse, intimidation, harassment, stalking, harm to property, trespassing the place the events don’t share the identical residence or another controlling or abusive behaviour in the direction of a complainant, the place such conduct harms or might trigger imminent hurt to the security, well being or well-being of the complainant.

To curb gender-based violence (GBV), authorities has adopted a zero-tolerance in the direction of rape, violation of the rights of lesbian, homosexual, bisexual, trans-gender and intersex individuals, and different types of violence in the direction of ladies and youngsters.

Human trafficking

Human trafficking has grow to be a spotlight of consideration within the nation following the introduction of the brand new visa necessities for kids travelling by way of South Africa’s ports of entry.

Laws geared toward stopping trafficking defines trafficking to incorporate the recruitment, transportation, sale or harbour of individuals by way of power, deceit, the abuse of vulnerability and the abuse of energy for exploitation.

Drug abuse

To curb the rising abuse of medicine, the DoJ&CD has amended Schedules 1 and a pair of of the Medication and Drug Trafficking Act of 1992 to make the use and possession of medicine akin to nyaope (often known as woonga or wunga) a felony offence.

The use, possession and sale of dependence-producing medicine is strictly prohibited and punishable in South Africa. If convicted, a positive and/or imprisonment interval of as much as 15 years will be imposed. Promoting or dealing in nyaope is punishable with a positive and/or imprisonment for a interval of as much as 25 years.

Function gamers

Authorized Assist South Africa (Authorized Assist SA)

Legal Aid SA supplies authorized assist or makes authorized assist accessible to indigent individuals throughout the finances allotted to it by the State.

Authorized Assist SA has launched a “Please Name Me” service by way of which members of the general public ship a “Please Name Me” textual content message and a authorized advisor returns the decision without charge to the sender. The establishment has additionally established a social media presence on Fb, Twitter and Instagram.

Particular Investigating Unit

The SIU works intently with the NPA to make sure that prosecutions happen as quickly as attainable. It additionally works with the AFU in instances the place the powers of this unit are extra appropriate for recovering the proceeds of crime.

Nationwide Prosecuting Authority

The NPA construction contains the Nationwide Prosecutions Service (NPS), the WitnessProtection Programme, the AFU and items such because the Sexual Offences and Group Affairs (SOCA) Unit, the Specialised Business Crime Unit (SCCU) and the Precedence Crimes Litigation Unit.

Asset Forfeiture Unit

The AFU can seize and forfeit property that was purchased from the proceeds of crime, or property that was used to commit against the law.

The household advocate

The function of the Household Advocate is to advertise and shield the very best pursuits of the kids in civil disputes over parental rights and obligations.

Sexual Offences and Group Affairs Unit

The SOCA acts in opposition to the victimisation of susceptible teams, primarily ladies and youngsters. One of many unit’s key achievements in guaranteeing authorities’s dedication to the combat in opposition to sexual offences and GBV is the institution of Thuthuzela Care Centres (TCCs).

The TCC idea is recognised by the UN Basic Meeting as a ‘world best-practice mannequin’ within the area of gender-violence administration and response. The TCCs are one-stop amenities situated in public hospitals that intention to supply survivors with a broad vary of important companies – from emergency medical-care counselling to courtroom preparation – in a holistic, built-in and victim-friendly method. The Thuthuzela Undertaking is supported by the roll-out of sufferer assist rooms in an effort to point out empathy to victims of violent crime, particularly in instances of sexual offences, youngster abuse and home violence

The household violence, youngster safety and sexual offences items (FCS)

The FCS items function in all South African Police Service clusters throughout the nation. To provide additional impetus to the investigation of crimes of this nature, forensic social employees had been appointed to help in instances of kid sexual abuse by conducting forensic assessments, compiling courtroom stories and offering knowledgeable proof in courtroom.

Precedence Crimes Litigation Unit (PCLU)

The PCLU is a specialist unit mandated to sort out instances that threaten nationwide safety. The PCLU was created by presidential proclamation and is allotted classes of instances both by the President or by the Nationwide Director.

Nationwide Prosecutions Service

A big majority of the NPA’s prosecutors are housed within the NPS, the organisation’s largest unit. The NPS is headed by the Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions (DPPs). They head the respective regional jurisdictions, that are connected to the excessive courts of the nation. All the general public prosecutors and state advocates manning the district, regional and excessive courts report back to the DPPs of their respective areas of jurisdiction.

Specialised Business Crime Unit

The SCCU’s mandate is to successfully prosecute complicated business crime instances emanating from the business branches of the SAPS. The shopper base of the unit includes a broad spectrum of complainants in business instances, starting from non-public people and company our bodies to state departments.

Public Protector

The Public Protector investigates complaints from the general public or on personal initiative in opposition to authorities at any degree, its officers, individuals performing public features, firms or firms the place the State and statutory councils are concerned. The Public Protector’s companies are free and accessible to everybody.

Complainants’ names are saved confidential so far as attainable. The President appoints the Public Protector on suggestion of the Nationwide Meeting and by way of the Structure, for a non-renewable interval of seven years.

The Public Protector is topic solely to the Structure and the legislation, and features independently from authorities and any political occasion. No particular person or organ of State might intrude with the functioning of the Public Protector.

The Public Protector has the ability to report a matter to Parliament, which is able to debate it and make sure that the Public Protector’s suggestions are adopted.

Division of Correctional Companies

The DCS stays dedicated to inserting humane and protected detention and rehabilitation on the centre of service supply. In doing so, the division strives to advertise corrections as a societal duty, contributing to enhanced public security and decreasing re-offending.

The DCS has varied offender rehabilitation programmes which deal with restorative justice, skilling, coaching, studying and offender reintegration.

The strategic targets of the division are to make sure that:

  • the effectivity of the justice system is improved by way of the efficient administration of remand processes
  • society is protected by way of incarcerated offenders being secured and rehabilitated
  • society is protected by offenders being reintegrated into the group as law-abiding residents.

On this approach, the division contributes to making sure that every one individuals in South Africa are and really feel protected.

Different roleplayers

Medical Parole Advisory Board

The Correctional Issues Modification Act of 2011 supplies for a brand new medical parole coverage and correctional supervision.

Correctional Supervision and Parole Board

Correctional Supervision and Parole boards are answerable for coping with parole issues and issues of correctional supervision. The Correctional Supervision and Parole boards have decision-making competency besides:

  • selections concerning the granting of parole to people who find themselves declared harmful criminals by way of Part 286A of the CPA of 1998.
  • the changing of sentences of imprisonment imposed by way of Part 276 (A) (3) of the CPA of 1998 into correctional supervision
  • selections with regard to these sentenced to life imprisonment.

In such instances, suggestions are submitted to the courts that in flip will decide in respect of conditional placement.

There are 52 Correctional Supervision and Parole Boards countrywide. These boards are chaired by group members who’re considered appropriate and able to finishing up the obligations.

The DCS supplies the members with intensive coaching in respect of the processes, legislative implications and relative insurance policies.

Supply: Pocket Guide to South Africa

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