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Draft Determination on Intermediaries Drawn Up

May 5, 2022

Department of Justice and Constitutional Development

A draft determination of persons or category or class of persons who are competent to be appointed as intermediaries has been drawn up.

The justice and constitutional development department published the draft determination in Government Gazette 46297 for comment.

It was drafted in terms of the Criminal Procedure Act.

A draft determination of persons or category or class of persons who are competent to be appointed as intermediaries in terms of the Superior Courts Act of 2013 and the Magistrates’ Courts Act of 1944 has also been published for comment.

Comment is also sought on a draft certificate of competency to be appointed as an intermediary.

Comment is invited until 13 May 2022.

Meanwhile, in a political overview on the ministry of justice and correctional services’ Annual Performance Plans for the 2022/23 financial year, the minister, Ronald Lamola, pointed out that three bills will be tabled in parliament during the current financial year.

The Draft Lower Courts Bill and the Draft Magistrates’ Bill will replace the current Magistrates’ Courts Act of 1944 and the Magistrates’ Act of 1993 while the Draft Regulation of Trusts Bill will be tabled to replace the current Trust Property Control Act of 1957.

The minister also highlighted that the Draft Trust Property Control Bill is the “latest action to ensure that we improve our anti-money laundering regime”.

He added that, under the current regime, trusts are used to hide assets.

“As a result, law enforcement agencies struggle to obtain accurate information on who are the real beneficiary of assets in trusts”, he said.

The draft bill is designed to “address this issue to ensure that our anti-money laundering legal dispensation is in line with the recommendations of the financial action task force and international best practice”.

The minister also announced that the Transkei Penal Code and the Riotous Assemblies Act will be repealed with the latter Act being replaced with the proposed Criminal Matters Amendment Bill.

The department has also called for comment on the Draft Lower Courts Bill.

The draft bill aims to:

  • make provision for the establishment, composition and functioning of Lower Courts comprising of Regional Courts, District Courts and Municipal Courts;
  • make provision for the administration of the judicial functions of the Lower Courts; and
  • provide for matters incidental thereto.

The main aim of the draft bill is to “replace the provisions relating to the Magistrates’ Courts, referred to in section 166(d) and 170 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996, in order to renew and align the legislative framework for those courts with the needs and requirements of the modern South African society”.

Comment on the draft bill is invited until 15 June 2022.

Comment on the Draft Magistrates Bill has also been extended until 15 June 2022.

The draft bill was published for comment in March 2022.

The draft bill aims to:

• provide for the establishment, constitution, objects and functions of the Magistrates Commission;
• regulate the appointment and remuneration of, and vacation of office by, magistrates;
• provide for the remuneration and conditions of service of magistrates; and
• provide for matters in connection therewith.

In an earlier background note, the department pointed out that the proposed legislation has three main aims:

• replace the current Magistrates Act, 1993 (Act No. 90 of 1993) in order to ensure the autonomy of the lower courts judiciary from the executive;
• incorporate all the provisions relating to the appointment of judicial officers of the lower courts in the bill itself, since some provisions are presently contained in the Magistrates’ Courts Act, 1944 (Act No. 32 of 1944); and
• bring the procedure for dealing with complaints about magistrates’ conduct in line with the dispensation applicable to judges in the superior courts.