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Criminal and Related Matters Amendment Act in Effect

August 5, 2022

The Presidency

The Criminal and Related Matters Amendment Act came into effect on 5 August 2022.

Proclamation 75 was published in Government Gazette 47198.

Parliament gave the green light to the Criminal and Related Matters Amendment Bill in September 2021.

The bill was tabled in parliament in August 2020.

President Ramaphosa signed the bill in January 2022.

According to the bill’s memorandum, the primary aim of the bill is to amend various acts designed to address gender-based violence and offences committed against vulnerable persons and provide for additional procedures to reduce secondary victimisation of vulnerable persons in court proceedings.

The act aims to amend:

• the Magistrates’ Courts Act, 1944, so as to provide for the appointment of intermediaries and the giving of evidence through intermediaries in proceedings other than criminal proceedings; the oath and competency of intermediaries; and the giving of evidence through audiovisual link in proceedings other than criminal proceedings;
• the Criminal Procedure Act, 1977, so as to further regulate the granting and cancellation of bail; the giving of evidence by means of closed circuit television or similar electronic media; the giving of evidence by a witness with physical, psychological or mental disability; the appointment, oath and competency of intermediaries; and the right of a complainant in a domestic related offence to participate in parole proceedings;
• the Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1997, so as to further regulate sentences in respect of offences that have been committed against vulnerable persons; and
• the Superior Courts Act, 2013, so as to provide for the appointment of intermediaries and the giving of evidence through intermediaries in proceedings other than criminal proceedings; the oath and competency of intermediaries; and the giving of evidence through audiovisual link in proceedings other than criminal proceedings, and to provide for matters connected therewith.