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Criminal Procedure Act, 1977 (Act No. 51 of 1977)

Chapter 1 : Prosecuting Authority

18. Prescription of right to institute prosecution

 

(1) The right to institute a prosecution for any offence, other than—
(a) murder;
(b) treason committed when the Republic is in a state of war;
(c) robbery, if aggravating circumstances were present;
(d) kidnapping;
(e) child-stealing;
(eA) the—
(i) common law offence of bribery;
(ii) offence referred to in section 1 of the Corruption Act, 1994 (Act No. 92 of 1994); or
(iii) offences referred to in Parts 1 to 4, or section 17, 20 or 21 (in so far as it relates to the aforementioned offences) of Chapter 2 of the Prevention and Combating of Corrupt Activities Act, 2004 (Act No. 12 of 2004);
(f) any sexual offence in terms of the common law or statute;
(g) genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes, as contemplated in section 4 of the Implementation of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court Act, 2002;
(h) any contravention of section 4, 5 or 7 and involvement in these offences as provided for in section 10 of the Prevention and Combating of Trafficking in Persons Act, 2013 (Act No. 7 of 2013);
(hA) Deleted
(i) Deleted
(j) torture as contemplated in section 4(1) and (2) of the Prevention and Combating of Torture of Persons Act, 2013 (Act No. 13 of 2013),

shall, unless some other period is expressly provided for by law, lapse after the expiration of a period of 20 years from the time when the offence was committed.

 

(2) The right to institute a prosecution that, in respect of any offence referred to in subsection (1)(eA) and (f), has lapsed before the commencement of the Prescription in Civil and Criminal Matters (Sexual Offences) Amendment Act, 2020, is hereby revived.

 

[Section 18 substituted by section 3 of the Prescription in Civil and Criminal Matters (Sexual Offences) Amendment Act, 2020, dated 23 December 2020]