SA Crime Quarterly - Volume 2014, Issue 50, 2014
Volumes & issues
Volume 2014, Issue 50, 2014
Author Chandre GouldSource: SA Crime Quarterly 2014, pp 3 –4 (2014)More Less
It is both ironic and fitting that this 50th edition of SA Crime Quarterly has a strong legal focus, since over the past few years South Africans have increasingly turned to the courts to resolve and adjudicate issues that arguably should have been resolved by other means. While a positive interpretation of this is that the courts and the judiciary have retained the confidence of South Africans, it also suggests that we have run out of other options, and seem unable to resolve political and other crises through negotiation and compromise. This is additionally ironic, since our ability to peacefully negotiate ourselves out of apartheid meant the South African transitional process and the Truth and Reconciliation Commission were hailed as a success all over the world.
Author Martin SchonteichSource: SA Crime Quarterly 2014, pp 5 –15 (2014) http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/sacq.v50i1.1More Less
Established in 1998, the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) immediately had to deal with escalating levels of serious crime. Through a variety of innovations, including prosecution-driven investigations popularised by the 'Scorpions', specialised career paths for prosecutors, a focus on performance measurement, and improved conditions of service, the NPA quickly became an employer of choice for a new generation of law graduates. Over the last 16 years, the NPA's specialised units have performed well. However, the NPA's performance at the level of the lower courts - where the vast majority of prosecutions occur - has been mixed. With the appointment of its sixth head or acting head in late 2013, the NPA has been burdened with inconsistent - and at times, poor and unsuitable - leadership. Relatedly, political interference and the politicisation of the NPA have seriously undermined a once promising institution, negatively affecting staff morale and performance and sapping public confidence in the NPA. The future of the NPA as an institution that exercises its functions without fear, favour or prejudice, as mandated by the Constitution, hangs in the balance.
Author Phumlani TyabazayoSource: SA Crime Quarterly 2014, pp 17 –22 (2014) http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/sacq.v50i1.2More Less
On 24 August 2012, the Premier of the Western Cape appointed a commission of inquiry, in terms of section 206(5) of the Constitution, to probe complaints of police inefficiency and a breakdown of relations between the community and the police in Khayelitsha, a township in the Western Cape. The Minister of Police and the National Police Commissioner challenged this decision and lodged an urgent application with the High Court of the Western Cape. The adjudication of this matter by the High Court and, subsequently, by the Constitutional Court, presented an opportunity for the courts to clarify the scope of provincial policing powers. This article analyses the courts' interpretation of the scope of provincial policing powers and argues that the adjudication of this matter has clarified the powers of provinces with regard to policing. The article also examines impediments to the exercise of provincial executives' policing powers.
Protecting child offenders' rights - testing the constitutionality of the National Register for sex offendersAuthor Zita HansunguleSource: SA Crime Quarterly 2014, pp 23 –30 (2014) http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/sacq.v50i1.3More Less
The Constitutional Court recently declared the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act 2007 (Act 32 of 2007) unconstitutional in its requirement that the names of child offenders be automatically included on the National Register for Sex Offenders when convicted of a sexual offence against a child or a person with disability. The Court held that automatic inclusion on the Register violated a child's right in terms of section 28(2) to have their best interests taken into account as the paramount consideration in every matter affecting the child. The Court held that the individual circumstances of children should be taken into account and that they should be given the opportunity to be heard by the sentencing court regarding the placement of their details on the Register. The Court decided that sentencing courts should be given the discretion to decide whether to place a child on the Register or not.
'Freedom from all forms of violence' - using Zimbabwe's new Constitution to encourage rape law reformAuthor Douglas ColtartSource: SA Crime Quarterly 2014, pp 31 –40 (2014) http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/sacq.v50i1.4More Less
The right to 'freedom from all forms of violence from public or private sources', enshrined in Zimbabwe's new Constitution, could have a significant impact on efforts to end violence against women (VAW) in the country. The right is particularly relevant in the Zimbabwean context where VAW occurs in a range of settings, from the most intimate of relationships in the home to the state's use of rape as a political weapon. One way in which the state can fulfil its duty to address VAW is through the reform of the country's rape law. With comparative reference to the impact of the right to freedom from violence in South African law, this article discusses three areas of Zimbabwean law that present potential obstacles to achieving justice for rape survivors: the definition of the crime of rape, the abolished but tenacious cautionary rule, and the sentencing of sexual offenders.