Justice and Correctional Providers | 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 various 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 capabilities 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 circumstances of service, self-discipline and coaching;
  • institution and functioning of the Nationwide Prosecuting Authority (NPA);
  • conducting of prison proceedings;
  • the prosecution of organised crime and corruption, and the forfeiture of belongings obtained by illicit means;
  • provision of witness safety to weak and intimidated witnesses and their associated individuals in judicial proceedings;
  • institution and functioning of our bodies chargeable for authorized support, regulation 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 weak 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 secure communities in South Africa by, amongst different issues, strengthening the prison justice system.

This imaginative and prescient is expressed when it comes to Precedence 5 (social cohesion and secure communities) of presidency’s 2019‐2024 Medium Time period Strategic Framework. The work of the DoJ&CD is immediately aligned with this precedence in {that a} effectively‐functioning prison justice system supplies aid to victims of crime, protects weak teams and swiftly acts in opposition to perpetrators of corrupt actions.

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

Implementing the built-in prison justice technique

The simplest deterrent to prison exercise is an environment friendly and efficient prison justice system.

The Built-in Prison Justice Technique goals to enhance the effectivity of the prison justice system by aligning the enterprise processes of varied stakeholders within the prison justice system, bettering and strengthening the capabilities of the prison justice system, and coordinating built-in interventions throughout the prison 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 reply to the disaster of rape, home violence, femicide, baby murder and associated types of GBV. In response, authorities has developed the Nationwide Strategic Plan (NSP) on GBVF, which requires giant‐scale adjustments within the prison justice system.

In March 2020, Cupboard authorised the NSP on GBVF, which is predicated on the next six pillars:

  • Accountability, Management and Coordination;
  • Prevention and Restoration of Social Cloth;
  • Safety, Security and Justice;
  • Response, Care, Assist and Therapeutic;
  • Financial Empowerment; and
  • Analysis and Info programs.

To make sure a seamless transformation course of, coaching in producing speedy outcomes may even be undertaken in any respect ranges of administration. In contributing to constructing a sufferer‐centric prison justice system, the NPA will enhance 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 cope with severe, excessive‐profile or advanced corruption, and every other circumstances 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 get better public funds syphoned from the fiscus by 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 pinnacle 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 capabilities: 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 operate of the Constitutional Courtroom; and assist the Judicial Service Fee and South African Judicial Training Institute within the execution of their mandates.

The courts

Constitutional Courtroom

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

The Constitutional Courtroom, based mostly 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 is just not glad with any resolution of the Excessive Courtroom on any matter; they’ll strategy the Constitutional Courtroom for a evaluation of that call. Regular enchantment issues are nevertheless handled on the Supreme Courtroom of Attraction (SCA).

Supreme Courtroom of Attraction (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 every of 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 suggests interesting a case. Circumstances of the Excessive Courtroom are listened to by one Choose, which means an individual with a few years of sensible expertise.

Nevertheless, if it’s a case on enchantment, then at the least two Judges should hear the case. Typically if the case is a couple of very severe crime then a Choose and two skilled folks in regulation who’re often advocates or Magistrates who’ve retired, will take heed to the case. The 2 persons are referred to as assessors. The assessors often assist the Choose to decide.

The Excessive Courtroom divisions have “jurisdiction” – the suitable to listen to a case – over outlined provincial areas through which they’re located, and the selections of the Excessive Courtroom are binding on Magistrates’ courts inside their areas of jurisdiction. They often solely hear civil issues involving greater than R100 000, and severe prison circumstances. In addition they hear any appeals or critiques from decrease courts (Magistrates’ courts) which fall of their geographical jurisdiction. The Excessive Courtroom often hears any matter involving an individual’s standing resembling 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 Attraction 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 because of racially discriminatory land legal guidelines.
  • The Competitors Attraction 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 cope with 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 cope with much less severe prison and civil circumstances. They’re divided into Regional courts and District courts. In Prison courts, the State prosecutes folks for breaking the regulation. Prison courts will be divided into two teams: Regional Magistrates’ Courts and Extraordinary Magistrates’ Courts (additionally referred to as District Courts).

Presently, Regional Magistrates’ Courts solely cope with prison circumstances whereas the District Magistrates’ Courts cope with prison and civil circumstances. 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 prison courts or civil courts. The Regional Magistrates’ Courts cope with extra severe circumstances than the abnormal Magistrates’ Courts resembling homicide, rape, armed theft and severe assault. By way of the Prison Legislation (Sentencing) Modification Act of 2007, a Regional Magistrates’ Courtroom can sentence an individual who has been discovered responsible of offences that embrace homicide or rape to imprisonment for all times.

The courtroom can even sentence individuals who have been discovered responsible of sure offences resembling armed theft or stealing a motorcar to jail for a interval as much as 20 years. A Regional Magistrates’ Courtroom can impose a most nice 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 circumstances. They can not attempt circumstances of homicide, treason, rape, terrorism, or sabotage.

They’ll sentence an individual to a most of three years in jail or a most nice of R100 000. Extraordinary Magistrates’ Courts can hear civil circumstances when the claims are for lower than R100 000. They can not cope with sure issues resembling 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 supply members of the general public a faster and simpler approach of resolving disputes that contain quantities restricted to R15 000 they usually can achieve this with out the necessity for a authorized consultant.

Equality courts

Equality courts are courts designed to cope with issues lined by the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act of 2000, also referred to as the Equality Act. Members of the general public convey to the courtroom issues resembling unfair discrimination, harassment, hate speech and the publication of knowledge 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 neighborhood Justice and Correctional Providers Official Information to South Africa 2019/20 6 and enterprise. These courts concentrate on restorative justice processes, resembling diverting younger offenders into appropriate programmes.

Conventional courts

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

Sexual offences courts

The courts characteristic specifically skilled officers, procedures and gear to cut back the possibility of secondary trauma for victims.

Nationwide register for intercourse offenders (NRSO)

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

The register offers employers within the public or non-public sectors resembling faculties, crèches and hospitals the suitable to verify that the individual being employed is match to work with youngsters or mentally disabled folks.

Nationwide Little one Safety Register

By way of Part 126 of the Kids’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 title is on Half B of the Nationwide Little one Safety Register.

If the potential worker’s title 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 offer one other individual, for instance a minor, with housing, meals, clothes, schooling and medical care, or with the means which can be essential for offering the individual 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 baby receives the suitable parental care, fundamental diet, shelter, fundamental heathcare companies, schooling 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, injury to property, trespassing the place the events don’t share the identical residence or every other controlling or abusive behaviour in direction of a complainant, the place such conduct harms or could trigger imminent hurt to the protection, well being or well-being of the complainant.

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

Human trafficking

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

Laws geared toward stopping trafficking defines trafficking to incorporate the recruitment, transportation, sale or harbour of individuals via pressure, 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 Medicine and Drug Trafficking Act of 1992 to make the use and possession of medicine resembling nyaope (also referred to as woonga or wunga) a prison offence.

The use, possession and sale of dependence-producing medicine is strictly prohibited and punishable in South Africa. If convicted, a nice and/or imprisonment interval of as much as 15 years will be imposed. Promoting or dealing in nyaope is punishable with a nice 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 support or makes authorized support accessible to indigent individuals inside the funds allotted to it by the State.

Authorized Assist SA has launched a “Please Name Me” service by which members of the general public ship a “Please Name Me” textual content message and a authorized advisor returns the decision for gratis to the sender. The establishment has additionally established a social media presence on Fb, Twitter and Instagram.

Particular Investigating Unit

The SIU works carefully with the NPA to make sure that prosecutions happen as quickly as potential. It additionally works with the AFU in circumstances 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 position of the Household Advocate is to advertise and shield one of the best pursuits of the kids in civil disputes over parental rights and tasks.

Sexual Offences and Group Affairs Unit

The SOCA acts in opposition to the victimisation of weak teams, primarily ladies and youngsters. One of many unit’s key achievements in making certain 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 purpose to offer 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 Venture is supported by the roll-out of sufferer assist rooms in an effort to indicate empathy to victims of violent crime, particularly in circumstances of sexual offences, baby abuse and home violence

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

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

Precedence Crimes Litigation Unit (PCLU)

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

Nationwide Prosecutions Service

A major 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 hooked up 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 advanced business crime circumstances emanating from the business branches of the SAPS. The consumer base of the unit contains a broad spectrum of complainants in business circumstances, 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 stage, its officers, individuals performing public capabilities, companies 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 stored confidential so far as potential. The President appoints the Public Protector on suggestion of the Nationwide Meeting and when it comes to the Structure, for a non-renewable interval of seven years.

The Public Protector is topic solely to the Structure and the regulation, and capabilities independently from authorities and any political occasion. No individual or organ of State could intrude with the functioning of the Public Protector.

The Public Protector has the facility 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 Providers

The DCS stays dedicated to putting humane and secure 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 numerous offender rehabilitation programmes which concentrate on restorative justice, skilling, coaching, studying and offender reintegration.

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

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

On this approach, the division contributes to making sure that each one folks in South Africa are and really feel secure.

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 chargeable 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 when it comes to Part 286A of the CPA of 1998.
  • the changing of sentences of imprisonment imposed when it comes to Part 276 (A) (3) of the CPA of 1998 into correctional supervision
  • selections with regard to these sentenced to life imprisonment.

In such circumstances, 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 neighborhood members who’re thought to be appropriate and able to finishing up the tasks.

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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