Case arises out of “degrading and invasive” raids on “poor and vulnerable” communities in downtown Johannesburg By Tania Broughton The Constitutional Court has struck down a section of the police act which allows for warrantless searches in cordoned off areas. The case arises after police conducted “cruel, degrading and invasive” raids on people living in 15 high-rise blocks in downtown Johannesburg. ...
Activists question legality of confiscating food from poor households By Masego Mafata Police are going door-to-door in townships to reclaim goods believed to be looted during the unrest in Gauteng. Many people we spoke to say food items were removed from their homes and furniture damaged during the raids. Civil society groups have said that not all of the confiscations are...
“The victims will lose trust in the social workers” By Liezl Human Activists say proposed amendments to the Domestic Violence Act could further discourage victims. It will extend the responsibility of mandatory reporting to authorities. Activists say this will likely affect confidentiality agreements between social workers and victims of domestic violence. Victims of domestic violence may think twice about getting help from...
Sonke Gender Justice asks judges to declare part of Correctional Services Act unconstitutional By Zoë Postman On Tuesday, the Constitutional Court was asked to declare unconstitutional sections of the law which limit the independence of the Judicial Inspectorate for Correctional Services (JICS) from the Department of Justice and Correctional Services (DCS) and hinder its role of oversight of the prisons. On 5 September...
Refusal by government to provide it was “unlawful and invalid” says judge By Elna Schütz The Department of Correctional Services (DCS) and the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services must release a report on alleged torture of inmates by prison personnel at Mangaung Correctional Centre in Bloemfontein. The Centre for Applied Legal Studies (CALS) has successfully applied to be given access to an...
Parliament given 24 months to correct Criminal Procedure Act By Tania Broughton Child offenders, child victims and child witnesses may not be named - even in adulthood, the Constitutional Court ruled on Wednesday. To sum up their majority ruling, the judges quoted Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie who during a TED talk in 2009 said: “Stories matter. Many stories matter. Stories have been used to...
Can an accused be convicted of rape for being part of a group with a common intent to rape? By Ohene Yaw Ampofo-Anti The Constitutional Court has been asked to rule on whether or not the doctrine of “common purpose” can be applied to rape: in other words, whether or not people who share the intent to rape can be convicted of...
Judges reaffirm right of accused to be brought to court within 48 hours By Ciaran Ryan The Constitutional Court, in August, ordered the Minister of Police to pay R300,000 plus interest for the wrongful arrest in 2012 of Bryan de Klerk after a charge of assault was lodged against him by an employee, Rael Lasarow. This judgment provides police and magistrates with greater clarity over...
Survivors of rape need better support within the criminal justice system, say civil society organisations By Mary-Anne Gontsana “We need a sexual offences court in Khayelitsha immediately,” Nombulelo Sithilanga of Thuthuzela Care Centre told a panel discussion at the Isivivana Centre last month. According to Crime Stats SA, 444 sexual offences cases, including 367 cases of rape, were opened at the three main...
Correctional services say his computer is a security risk By Zoë Postman Mbalenhle Nkosi, an inmate at Johannesburg Medium C Correctional Facility, has taken the head of the prison, the National Commissioner and the Minister of Correctional Services to court. The prison has denied him access to his laptop, which he needs for distance learning. He has accused the authorities of “infringing on...