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Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 (Act No. 108 of 1996)

Chapter 8 - Courts and Administration of Justice

179. Prosecuting authority

 

 

1) There is a single national prosecuting authority in the Republic, structured in terms of an Act of Parliament, and consisting of :
a) a National Director of Public Prosecutions, who is the head of the prosecuting authority, and is appointed by the President, as head of the national executive; and
b) Directors of Public Prosecutions and prosecutors as determined by an Act of Parliament.

 

2) The prosecuting authority has the power to institute criminal proceedings on behalf of the state, and to carry out any necessary functions incidental to instituting criminal proceedings.

 

3) National legislation must ensure that the Directors of Public Prosecutions :
a) are appropriately qualified; and
b) are responsible for prosecutions in specific jurisdictions, subject to subsection (5).

 

4) National legislation must ensure that the prosecuting authority exercises its functions without fear, favour or prejudice.

 

5) The National Director of Public Prosecutions :
a) must determine, with the concurrence of the Cabinet member responsible for the administration of justice, and after consulting the Directors of Public Prosecutions, prosecution policy, which must be observed in the prosecution process;
b) must issue policy directives which must be observed in the prosecution process;
c) may intervene in the prosecution process when policy directives are not complied with; and
d) may review a decision to prosecute or not to prosecute, after consulting the relevant Director of Public Prosecutions and after taking representations within a period specified by the National Director of Public Prosecutions, from the following :
i) The accused person.
ii) The complainant.
iii) Any other person or party whom the National Director considers to be relevant.

 

6) The Cabinet member responsible for the administration of justice must exercise final responsibility over the prosecuting authority.

 

7) All other matters concerning the prosecuting authority must be determined by national legislation.