n South African Journal of Criminal Justice - The Mushwana Report and prosecution policy

Volume 18, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 1011-8527
  • E-ISSN: 1996-2118



The meaning of the expression 'a prima facie case' as it is used in South Africa and in several other jurisdictions, and is considered also the nature of the role of the prosecutor in South Africa when considering whether or not a matter should be brought to trial is reviewed. It is argued that this involves considerations which are different from the question which the trial judge must consider at the end of the case for the prosecution in terms of s 174 of the Criminal Procedure Act, and that similar considerations are general to, and inherent in, the accusatorial mode of trial elsewhere. The Report by the Public Protector into the objections brought by a person of whom it was said by the National Director of Public Prosecutions that, despite the existence of a prima facie case of offences committed by that person there would be no prosecution, is reviewed.

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