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Special Tribunal Regulations in Place

September 26, 2019

Department of Justice and Constitutional Development

26 September 2019

Regulations of the Special Investigating Unit and the Special Tribunal are in place.

The justice and constitutional development department published the regulations in Government Gazette 42729 in terms of the Special Investigating Units and Special Tribunals Act.

The Special Tribunal was set up at the beginning of 2019 to assist the Special Investigating Unit (SIU) in finalizing civil litigation following conclusion of investigations.

According to an earlier presidency statement, the Tribunal was established in terms of Section (2)(1) of the Special Investigating Units and Special Tribunals Act 74 of 1996.

The civil litigation referred to relates to matters where the SIU seeks to have government contracts declared irregularly invalid or set aside.

“Fast-tracking these matters through the Special Tribunal will enable the SIU to recover monies and/or assets lost by state institutions through irregular and corrupt means; thus ensuring that those who are responsible for the loss of monies and or assets by state institutions are held accountable.”

The Special Tribunal is empowered to adjudicate upon any civil proceedings flowing from SIU investigations.

Judge Gidfonia Makhanya has been appointed as president of the Tribunal for three years.

The regulations focus on, inter alia, seat of the Tribunal, financial support to the Tribunal, civil proceedings, interested party, recording of proceedings, taking of oath, confidentiality, offence and penalty and rules of procedure.

The Booysens magistrates court is determined as the seat of the Tribunal but the Tribunal president may schedule meetings of the Tribunal at any seat of the high court or magistrates court in South Africa to enhance access to justice.

The Tribunal is limited to focus on civil proceedings flowing from any investigation of the SIU.

As regards confidentiality, “no person shall unlawfully possess, communicate or publish any matter, information, evidence or reports obtained, compiled, drafted or generated by the Special Investigating Unit unless with the expressly written permission of the Head of the Unit”.

The regulations came into effect on the date of publication.