Virtual meeting: New research paper "The prosecution service and the provinces" [4 August 2021]

Africa Criminal Justice Reform (ACJR) is hosting a virtual meeting on 4 August 2021 on a 'New research paper "The prosecution service and the provinces"' by Prof Lukas Muntingh
  • What Events ACJR Event
  • When 04 Aug, 2021 from 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM (Africa/Johannesburg / UTC200)
  • Where Zoom Meeting
  • Contact Name
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Whereas the Constitution provides for a formal relationship and a level of performance monitoring between provincial governments and the South African Police Service (SAPS), there is no such mechanism in respect of the provinces and the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA). There is in law no formal mechanism for interaction between the NPA and a province.

The reasons for this appear to be historical, reflective of a commitment by the ruling party to centralise the prosecution authority following the Interim Constitution and make a clear break with the erstwhile provincial Attorneys-General. While centralisation may have served a purpose in the volatile 1990s, two risks identified during the negotiations for the Final Constitution appear to have come true. The first is that centralisation places the entire institution at risk of manipulation, if not capture.

The second, is that centralisation does not facilitate the identification of and coordinated action on provincial and local crime and safety priorities for the purposes of prosecution. Provinces differ in respect of their crime and safety needs.

This paper explores the relationship between the provinces and the NPA by looking at the legal framework as well as a few case studies and examples of cooperation that have emerged. Recommendations are made for a way forward.



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