Department of Justice and Constitutional Development
17 October 2019
The Tariff Policy and Mediation Policy is receiving urgent attention and will be presented to cabinet for consideration in due course.
The minister of justice and correctional services, Ronald Lamola, confirmed this during an address to the justice and correctional services committee in parliament on his department’s 2018/19 Annual Report.
The minister added that the Office of the State Attorney was in a “dire condition”.
“Government civil litigation, if not handled well, can prove to be a major threat to country’s fiscal liability. Whilst we welcome the Special Investigative Unit’s investigation into the division, we realize that we cannot rely on that investigation alone to turn this division around,” he said.
The minister announced that, in response to the challenges, the department was in the process of “finalizing (a) governance model that will ensure that the state attorney becomes a model law firm”.
He also declared that digitization of the criminal justice system was a top priority.
“We must digitize the Criminal Justice System so that we can streamline processes – this means police embracing digital tools and courtrooms becoming a beacon of digital working.”
The department also needed to improve the way the Criminal Justice System deals with specific crimes that require an enhanced response.
“Domestic violence and abuse ruins lives and shatters our women in our communities. To this end, ensuring that we overhaul the criminal procedure act, and other related legislation to ensure that we differentiate between sexual offences and gender-based violence crimes is an important milestone.”
The minister indicated that the department will continue to ensure that all players, entities and departments within the criminal justice system are included in the Integrated Justice System.
He confirmed that an additional 10 Sexual Offences Courts are in the pipeline for the current financial year.
Meanwhile, in Government Gazette 42769, the department has designated a Master Tax Practitioner (SA), General Tax Practitioner (SA) and Tax Technician (SA) as Commissioners of Oaths.
The designation was made in terms of Section 6 of the Justices of the Peace and Commissioners of Oaths Act.