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Comment Sought on 2020 Criminal Matters Amendment Bill

March 3, 2020

Department of Justice and Constitutional Development

The justice and constitutional development department seeks comment on the 2020 Draft Criminal Matters Amendment Bill.

The proposed legislation aims to further regulate the granting of bail in respect of offences against vulnerable people.

The draft bill seeks to amend:


• the Criminal Procedure Act, 1977, so as to further regulate the granting of bail; and placement of persons on parole, in respect of offences that have been committed against vulnerable persons; and
• the Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1997, so as to further regulate sentences in respect of offences that have been committed against vulnerable persons, and
• provide for matters connected therewith.

The department has also called for comment on the 2020 Draft Domestic Violence Amendment Bill.

The draft bill aims to amend the Domestic Violence Act, 1998 so as to:


• further regulate certain definitions;
• further facilitate the obtaining of protection orders against acts of domestic violence;
• introduce obligations on relevant functionaries in the Department of Social Development and the Department of Health to provide certain services to victims of domestic violence;
• align the provisions of the Domestic Violence Act, 1998 with the provisions of the Protection from Harassment Act, 2011 and
• provide for matters connected therewith.

The 2020 Draft Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act Amendment Bill has also been released for comment.

The draft bill seeks to amend the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act, 2007, so as to:


• further regulate the inclusion of particulars of persons in the National Register for Sex Offenders;
• extend the list of persons who are to be protected in terms of Chapter 6 of the Act; and
• further regulate the removal of particulars of persons from the National Register for Sex Offenders; and
• provide for matters connected therewith.

Comment on all three draft bills is invited until 31 March 2020.

Meanwhile, the Speaker of parliament has confirmed that the new motion received from the Democratic Alliance (DA), for proceedings to be initiated to remove the Public Protector from office, complies with the Rules of the national assembly.

The DA had earlier withdrawn the initial motion and submitted a new motion on 21 February 2020.

According to a statement, the Speaker has started a new process to set up an external panel of experts by writing to political parties to submit names to sit on the panel.

Parties have until 6 March to submit names to the Speaker.