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Commission for Gender Equality Act, 1996 (Act No. 39 of 1996)

12. Investigation by Commission



(1) The procedure to be followed in conducting an investigation referred to in section 11 (1) (e) shall be determined by the Commission with due regard to the circumstances of each case.


(2) The Commission shall from time to time by notice in the Gazette make known the particulars of the procedure which it has determined in terms of subsection (1).


(a) If it is in the interest of justice or if harm to any person might otherwise ensue, the Commission or a member thereof may direct that any person or category of persons shall not be present at the proceedings during the investigation or any part thereof.
(b) No person shall disclose to any other person the contents of any document in the possession of a member or a member of the staff of the Commission or the record of evidence given before the Commission during an investigation, unless the Commission determines otherwise.


(4) For the purposes of conducting an investigation referred to in section 11 (1) (e) , the Commission may—
(a) through a member require from any person such particulars and information as may be reasonably necessary;
(b) require any person by notice in writing under the hand of a member of the Commission, addressed and delivered by a sheriff, to appear before it at a time and place specified in such notice and to produce to it specified articles or documents in the possession or custody or under the control of any such person: Provided that such notice shall contain the reasons why such person's presence is needed and why any such article or document should be produced.
(c) through a member of the Commission, administer an oath to or take an affirmation from any person referred to in paragraph (b) , or any person present at the place referred to in paragraph (b) , irrespective of whether or not such person has been required under the said paragraph (b) to appear before it, and question him or her under oath or affirmation.


(5) Any person questioned under subsection (4) shall, subject to any law governing privilege—
(i) be competent and compelled to answer all questions put to him or her regarding any fact or matter connected with the investigation;
(ii) be compelled to produce to the Commission any article or document in his or her possession or custody or under his or her control which may be necessary in connection with that investigation.


(6) Any person appearing before the Commission by virtue of the provisions of subsection (4) (b) and (c) may be assisted at such examination by an advocate or an attorney, or both, and shall be entitled to peruse such of the documents or records referred to in subsection (4) (b) as are necessary to refresh his or her memory.


(7) If it appears to the Commission during the course of an investigation that any person is being implicated in the matter being investigated, the Commission shall afford such person an opportunity to be heard in connection therewith by way of the giving of evidence or the making of submissions and such person or his or her legal representative shall be entitled, through the Commission, to question other witnesses, determined by the Commission, who have appeared before the Commission in terms of this section.