South Peninsula Muncipality
NATIONAL PROSECUTING AUTHORITY BILL (B113 OF 1997)
I refer to the request made by Advocate Johnny de Lange MP, Chairperson of the Portfolio Committee on Justice, for representations regarding the abovementioned Bill.
Our municipality currently provides a municipal prosecutor to the Wynberg Magistrate's Court, who assists in the prosecution of municipal matters which have arisen within the South Peninsula Municipality jurisdiction. There are also arrangements being made to provide the same service to Simon's Town Magistrate's Court. The prosecutor is suitably qualified and does so with the
approval of the Chief Magistrate and Attorney-General. Reliance is placed on section 5 of the Criminal procedure Act which provides for a bench appointment by the presiding officer. This will no longer be possible when the new legislation is promulgated as section 5 will be repealed thereby.
Although our municipality has only recently become involved in prosecutions, the City of Cape Town municipality has in the past experienced problems when the authority of municipal prosecutors has been challenged. In light of this fact and in an attempt to clarify the position of municipal prosecutors it would be advisable to provide clarity in the new Act.
The proposed legislation, as it presently stands, does not seem to give the Director of prosecutions the authority to appoint as prosecutors or delegate authority to institute criminal prosecutions to municipal employees. Section 15 implies that only state employees may be appointed as prosecutors, while section 21 makes no provisions regarding the appointment of prosecutors.
The municipal prosecutors are experienced in municipal matters and also have the time and resources to sufficiently research a matter and consult with witnesses. The main advantage to the state prosecutors, is the tact that they are freed of our matters and so have more time to spend on other criminal matters, which may not have boon possible in the past.
We attach a proposed amendment to section 16 of the Bill and request that you consider its inclusion in the tins legislation. We also request the opportunity to give oral evidence to the Portfolio Committee on Justice.
SOUTH PENINSULA MUNICIPALITY
LEGAL SERVICES DIVISION
PROPOSED AMENDMENT TO NATIONAL PROSECUTING AUTHORITY BILL AS SUBMITTED BY THE SOUTH PENINSULA MUNICIPALITY
We suggest that the following subsection be added to section 16:
"(5) A Director referred to in section 12(1)(b) and (c) may, in respect of the area of jurisdiction for which he or she has been appointed, in writing delegate to any person in the employment of or designated by a local authority, subject to subsection (2) and the control and directions of the Director concerned, the authority to-
(i) institute criminal proceedings; or
(ii) conduct on behalf of the State, as a prosecutor, any prosecution in criminal proceedings in any lower court within the area of jurisdiction of such Director.
Provided that the provisions of Chapter 7 shall not apply to any such person whose conditions of service, remuneration and allowances are determined by the local authority concerned."