n South African Journal of Criminal Justice - Plea-bargaining in South Africa : current concerns and future prospects

Volume 20, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1011-8527
  • E-ISSN: 1996-2118



The powers of the prosecution service in South Africa are extensive, particularly when it comes to the exercise of its discretion to institute criminal proceedings, to negotiate plea and sentence agreements and to divert matters from the criminal process. A court cannot prevent a prosecutor from withdrawing a matter or from accepting a specific plea. It is the state that remains dominus litis. However it will be sufficient for the purposes of this paper to focus on how the prosecution service exercises its power when it negotiates a plea and sentence bargain and then to examine and determine the usefulness, fairness and the constitutionality of this process after 1994.

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