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Published by André Le Roux
Constitutional La and criminal Law

Criminal and Constitutional Law required reading
Constitutional La and criminal Law

Criminal and Constitutional Law required reading

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Published by: André Le Roux on Jun 16, 2009
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113
Theindepend
enceofthepr
osecutorial
authorityof
SouthAfrica
andNamibia:
Acomparativ
estudyNicoH
orn
Introductio
n
Prosecution
andprosecut
orialauthor
itydidnotre
ceivemuchat
tentioninSo
uth
Africancons
titutionalj
urisprudenc
e.
1InNamibia,
ontheotherh
and,itwason
e
ofthe\ufb01rstco
nstitutiona
lquestionst
hattheSupre
meCourthadt
odealwith.T
he
NamibianSup
remeCourtop
tedforaradi
calseparati
onbetweenth
eexecutive
andtheprose
cutorialaut
hority.Sout
hAfricahadt
heopportuni
tytofollowt
he
Namibianexa
mple,butrej
ecteditradi
cally.
2
Prosecutori
alindepende
nceisclosel
yrelatedtot
heindepende
nceofthejud
iciary.
Ifcontrover
sialprosecu
tionscanbes
toppedbefor
etheygettot
hecourts,ev
en
themostinde
pendenttrib
unalcannotg
uaranteeequ
altreatment
forall.This
papercompar
esthetwoaut
horitiesint
helightofth
eircommonhi
story.
Thelegalhis
toryofthein
dependenceo
ftheprosecu
tingauthori
ties
inSouthAfri
caandNamibi
a
3
Thehistorie
sofSouthAfr
icaandNamib
iahavebeeni
nterwovenfo
rcenturies.
Longbeforet
hecolonisat
ionofNamibi
abyGermanyi
n1884,peopl
efrom
SouthAfrica
movedtoandf
romNamibia.
NamaleaderJ
anJonkerAfr
ikaner
andhistribe
movedfromWi
nterhoekint
heCapeColon
ytocentralN
amibia;
theBastersm
ovedfromthe
northernCap
eColonytoNa
mibia;andev
enagroup
ofCalvinist
Afrikaners,
theDorsland
trekkers,(o
rBoere,asth
eywereknown
)
traversedNa
mibiaonthei
rwaytoAngol
a.
4
1ExParte:At
torney-Gene
ral.Inre:Th
eConstituti
onalRelatio
nshipbetwee
ntheAttorne
y-
Generalandt
heProsecuto
r-General19
98NR282(SC)
(1).Alsorep
ortedin1995
(8)
BCLR1070(Nm
SC).
2ExParte:Ch
airpersonof
theNational
Assembly.In
re:Certi\ufb01ca
tionoftheCo
nstitutiono
f
theRepublic
ofSouthAfri
ca1996(4)SA
744(CC),par
.141G.
3Iamindebte
dtotheHeads
ofArgumento
nbehalfofth
eProsecutor
-GeneralbyP
Jvan
RHenning,SC
andCHJBaden
horst,Couns
elforthePro
secutor-Gen
eralinExPar
te:
Attorney-Ge
neral,supra
,1998NR282(
SC)(1)forth
estructureo
fthissectio
nandsome
valuableinf
ormation.
4TheDorslan
dtrekkerswe
re(white)Af
rikanerCalv
inistswhole
fttheTransv
aalRepublic
in
reactiontot
hepolitical
andtheologi
calliberali
smofPreside
ntBurgers.T
heyapproach
ed
Theindepend
enceofthepr
osecutorial
authorityof
SouthAfrica
andNamibia
114
WhenSouthAf
ricatookove
rtheadminis
trationofDe
utsch-S\u00fcdwe
stafrika
(\u201cGermanSou
thWestAfric
a\u201d)duringWo
rldWarIin19
18,thepreva
ilingSouth
Africancomm
onlawwasmad
eapplicable
totheoccupi
edterritory
.AfterWWI,
theconnecti
onbetweenth
eUnionofSou
thAfricaand
Deutsch-S\u00fcd
westafrika
becameforma
l.On17Decem
ber1920,the
MandateComm
issionofthe
League
ofNationsap
provedthead
ministratio
noftheterri
torybySouth
Africaunder
a
so-calledCl
assCmandate
.Thewording
ofthemandat
ewascontrov
ersialfrom
theoutset.I
tmandatedHi
sBritannicM
ajestytobee
xercisedonh
isbehalfbyt
he
governmento
ftheUnionof
SouthAfrica
.
5
Proclamatio
n1of1921gav
etheAdminis
tratorlegis
lativepower
soverwhatwa
s
thenknownas
SouthWestAf
rica.Act42o
f1925oftheS
outhAfrican
Parliament
instituteda
constitutio
nfortheterr
itory.
6
From1919onw
ards,severa
lSouthAfric
anlawsweree
nforcedinNa
mibia.In
somecases,p
roclamation
sbytheAdmin
istratorwer
ebroughtinl
inewithSout
h
Africanlegi
slation,wit
hminoradapt
ations.Inpr
actice,itme
antthatSout
hAfrica
couldimplem
entitslawin
theterritor
y.Ithadthee
ffectthatSo
uthWestAfri
ca
wasgoverned
fromPretori
aasanintegr
alpartofthe
UnionofSout
hAfrica.
Themandateh
adveryspeci
\ufb01crestricti
ons.General
JanChristia
anSmuts,the
thenprimemi
nisterofthe
UnionofSout
hAfrica,was
instrumenta
linincludin
g
asectionpre
ventingthem
andateholde
rsfromoccup
yingthemand
atedareas.
Thiswascont
rarytothewi
shesofAustr
aliaandNewZ
ealand,who,
inrespect
ofPapuaNewG
uinea,theGe
rmancolonyi
ntheSouthSe
as,sawoccup
ationas
theonlysolu
tion.Theman
dateholders
alsohadtoex
ercisetheir
mandatesfor
thebene\ufb01tof
theindigeno
uspeopleoft
hemandatedc
ountries.
7
Nevertheles
s,inRvChris
tians,
8theAppella
teDivisiono
ftheSupreme
Court
ofSouthAfri
caruledthat
SouthAfrica
heldsoverei
gnpowerover
SouthWest
Africa.Wiec
hers(1972:4
50)pointsou
tthatthecou
rtwasnotcom
pelledtogo
theyoungPau
lKrugertole
adthetrek,b
uthedecline
d.Helaterbe
camethePres
identofthe
Republicand
ledtheRepub
licintowara
gainstEngla
ndin1899.
5Carpenter,
G.1987.Intr
oductiontoS
outhAfrican
Internation
alLaw.Durba
n:Butterwor
ths,
p23;Dugard,
J.1973.TheS
outhWestAfr
ica/Namibia
dispute.Ber
keley:Unive
rsityof
CaliforniaP
ress,p68.
6Carpenter(
1987:22).
7Wiechers,M
.1972.\u201cSout
hWestAfrica
:Thebackgro
und,content
andsigni\ufb01ca
nceofthe
opinionofth
eWorldCourt
ofJune1971\u201d
.Comparativ
eandInterna
tionalLawJo
urnalof
SouthernAfr
ica,5(1972)
:123.
81924AD101.
Theindepend
enceofthepr
osecutorial
authorityof
SouthAfrica
andNamibia
115
intotheissu
eofsovereig
ntysincethe
muchwiderma
iestaswasan
elementof
hightreason
,andnotsove
reignty.The
SouthAfrica
ngovernment
nevertheles
s
acceptedits
statusasthe
sovereignof
SouthWestAf
ricaafterth
eChristians
case.
9
TheUnitedNa
tionsOrgani
sation(UN)w
asformedin1
945,afterth
eendof
WWII.Follow
ingthis,the
LeagueofNat
ionswasdisb
andedin1946
.Theissueof
themandated
territories
wasnotresol
vedattheLea
gueofNation
s\u2019\ufb01nalmeeti
ng.
TheLeagueac
ceptedareso
lutionthatt
hemandateho
lderswoulda
dministerth
e
mandatedter
ritoriesint
hesamespiri
tasbefore,u
ntilanewarr
angementwas
reachedbetw
eensuchmand
ateholdersa
ndtheUN.
10
Alongandoft
enbitterstr
ugglesoonde
velopedbetw
eenSouthAfr
icaandthe
UN.Itisnoti
mportantfor
thispaperto
gointothede
tailofthele
galbattle
betweenSout
hAfricaandt
heinternati
onalcommuni
ty;suf\ufb01ceit
tosayhere
that,fromal
egalperspec
tive,Namibi
awasgoverne
dasifitwere
partofSouth
Africa\u2019ssov
ereignterri
tory.Thegov
ernmentofth
eUnionofSou
thAfricawas
of
theopiniont
hatalloblig
ationsofthe
mandatehold
erslapsedwh
entheLeague
ofNationsdi
ssolved,and
thatSouthAf
ricahadther
ighttointeg
rateSouthWe
st
AfricaintoS
outhAfrica.
Fromthenon,
thegreatest
majorityofS
outhAfrican
Actswereals
omade
applicablet
oSouthWestA
fricaoverap
eriodoftime
until1985.I
n1919,South
Africaestab
lishedtheHi
ghCourtofSo
uthWestAfri
caasthejudi
cialauthori
ty
fortheterri
tory,withth
eAppellateD
ivisionofth
eSupremeCou
rtofSouth
Africaasthe
\ufb01nalCourtof
Appeal.
Priortothef
ormationoft
heUnionofSo
uthAfricain
1910,thepro
secution
authority,a
tleastinthe
Transvaal,v
estedabsolu
telyintheAt
torney-Gene
ral.
11
Withtheform
ationoftheU
nionofSouth
Africa,sect
ion139ofthe
South
AfricanActo
f1909basica
llycon\ufb01rmed
theindepend
enceofthepr
osecuting
authorities
.
Theformulat
ionofsectio
n139wascon\ufb01
rmedintheCr
iminalProce
dureand
EvidenceAct
of1917,asfo
llows:
12
Thisrightan
ddutyofpros
ecutionvest
edinandentr
ustedtosuch
Attorneys-G
eneral
orSolicitor
-General(as
thecasemayb
e)isabsolut
elyunderhis
managementa
nd
control.
9Wiechers(1
972:452).
10(ibid.:45
3).
11Gillingha
mvAttorney-
GeneralandO
thers1909TS
572,at573.
12Section7(
2).
Theindepend
enceofthepr
osecutorial
authorityof
SouthAfrica
andNamibia
116
Prosecution
sinSouthWes
tAfricawere
inthehandso
ftheAttorne
y-Generalof
SouthWestAf
rica.Likehi
sSouthAfric
ancounterpa
rt,theSouth
WestAfrican
Attorney-Ge
neralwasind
ependentand
freefrompol
iticalovers
ight.The
Administrat
orofSouthWe
stAfricaiss
uedProclama
tion5of1918
tomakethe
CriminalPro
cedureandEv
idenceActof
1917effecti
veintheProt
ectorateof
SouthWestAf
rica,withmi
norspecialc
onditions.T
hespecialco
nditionsoft
he
Proclamatio
ndidnotaffe
ctsection7(
2)ofthesaid
Act.
TheAdminist
rator\u2019sProc
lamation20o
f1919repeal
edProclamat
ion5of1918,
butcon\ufb01rmed
theindepend
enceoftheAt
torney-Gene
ral.Onlythe
titlewas
changedtoCr
ownProsecut
or.Section7
oftheCrimin
alProcedure
andEvidence
Actof1917wa
ssubstitute
dbythefollo
wing:
7(1)TheCrow
nProsecutor
oftheProtec
torateisves
tedwithther
ightandentr
usted
withtheduty
ofprosecuti
nginthename
andonbehalf
ofHisMajest
ytheKing
inrespectof
anyoffencew
hichisalleg
edtohavebee
ncommittedw
ithinthe
jurisdictio
noftheHighC
ourtofSouth
WestAfrica.
(2)Thatrigh
tanddutyofp
rosecutionv
estedinande
ntrustedtos
uchCrown
Prosecutori
sabsolutely
underhisown
managementa
ndcontrol.
Consequentl
y,thepositi
onofthepros
ecutorialpo
wersinSouth
Africaand
Namibiawere
practically
thesame:bot
hprosecutin
gauthoritie
shadabsolut
e
autonomyand
werefreefro
mpoliticalc
ontrol.Howe
ver,in1926,
their
waysparted.
TheSouthAfr
icanCrimina
landMagistr
ates\u2019Courts
Procedure
AmendmentAc
t,1926(No.3
9of1926)ame
ndedsection
139oftheSou
th
AfricanActa
ndsections7
(1)and(2)of
theCriminal
Procedurean
dEvidence
Actof1917.S
ections1(3)
and(4)place
dtheAttorne
y-Generalsu
nderthecont
rol
anddirectio
nsofthemini
ster.
The1926Actw
asnotmadeap
plicableinS
outhWestAfr
ica,sotheCr
own
Prosecutoro
fSouthWestA
fricaremain
edindepende
ntandfreeof
political
control.In1
935,theCrim
inalProcedu
reandEviden
ceProclamat
ion30of1935
repealedPro
clamation20
of1919.TheC
rownProsecu
torwasrenam
ed
Attorney-
General.Sec
tion7(2)oft
heProclamat
ioncon\ufb01rmed
that\u2013
\u2026therightof
prosecution
vestedanden
trustedtosu
chAttorney-
Generalisab
solutely
underhisown
managementa
ndcontrol.
TheCriminal
ProcedureOr
dinance34of
1963repeale
dProclamati
on30of
1935.Althou
ghtheexclus
iveauthorit
yoftheAttor
ney-General
isnotstated
as
explicitlya
sintheearli
erproclamat
ions,theSou
thAfricanpr
acticeofpla
cing
theAttorney
-Generalund
erpolitical
controlwasn
otfollowed,
assection5(
1)
shows:
Theindepend
enceofthepr
osecutorial
authorityof
SouthAfrica
andNamibia
117
TheAdminist
ratorshall,
subjecttoth
elawsrelati
ngtothepubl
icservice,a
ppointan
Attorney-Ge
neraltothet
erritorywho
isvestedwit
hthesolerig
htandwithth
eduty
ofprosecuti
nginthename
oftheState,
inanycourti
nrespectofa
nyoffencewh
ichis
allegedtoha
vebeencommi
ttedwithint
hejurisdict
ionoftheSup
remeCourt.
InSouthAfri
ca,thetrend
ofpolitical
controlwas\ufb01
rmlyestabli
shedbythe
GeneralLawA
mendmentAct
,1935(No.46
of1935).Int
hisvein,ane
wsection
7(4)wasadde
dtoAct31of1
917,andread
asfollows:
EveryAttorn
ey-Generala
ndSolicitor
-Generalsha
llexerciset
heirauthori
tyand
performthei
rfunctionsu
nderthisAct
andunderany
otherActsub
jecttotheco
ntrol
anddirectio
noftheMinis
terwhomay,i
fhethinks\ufb01t
,reverseany
decisionarr
ivedat
byanAttorne
y-Generalor
aSolicitor-
Generalandm
ayhimselfin
generalorin
any
speci\ufb01cmatt
erexercisea
nypartofsuc
hauthoritya
ndperforman
ysuchfuncti
on.
Thus,from19
35,theprose
cutingautho
ritybecamep
artoftheaut
horityand
powerofthem
inisterofju
stice.Themi
nisterhadth
elegalright
totakeovert
he
roleoftheAt
torney-Gene
ralandsolic
itor-genera
lsathisownd
iscretion!T
he
1935formula
tionalsofou
nditswayint
otheCrimina
lProcedureA
ct,1955(No.
51of1955),w
hichrepeale
dAct31of191
7.
Asaconseque
nceofthesed
ifferentdev
elopments,t
heAttorney-
GeneralinSo
uth
WestAfricah
adgreaterau
thorityandm
uchwiderpow
ersthanhisc
ounterparts
inSouthAfri
ca.However,
inSouthWest
Africa,poli
ticalinterv
entionwas
complicated
;andwheneve
rithappened
,itwassubtl
e\u2013unlikeits
bluntcounte
rpart
popularinSo
uthAfricadu
ringtheapar
theidyears.
On22July197
7,theAttorn
ey-Generalo
fSouthWestA
fricalosthi
sautonomy
whenthenewC
riminalProc
edureAct,19
77(No.51of1
977),wasmad
e
applicablei
nSouthWestA
frica.Secti
on3(5)ofthe
saidActmade
political
controlmand
atory.
13
13Thesectio
nsreadasfol
lows:
(1)TheState
Presidentsh
all,subject
tothelawsre
latingtothe
publicservi
ce,appoint
inrespectof
theareaofju
risdictiono
feachprovin
cialdivisio
nanAttorney
-
General,who
,onbehalfof
theStateand
subjecttoth
eprovisions
ofthisAct\u2013
(a)shallhav
eauthorityt
oprosecute,
inthenameof
theRepublic
incriminal
proceedings
inanycourti
ntheareainr
espectofwhi
chhehasbeen
appointed,
anypersonin
respectofan
yoffenceinr
egardtowhic
hanycourtin
thesaid
areahasjuri
sdiction;an
d
(b)mayperfo
rmallfuncti
onsrelating
totheexerci
seofsuchaut
hority.
(2)Theautho
rityconferr
eduponanAtt
orney-Gener
alundersubs
ection(1)sh
all
includethea
uthoritytop
rosecuteina
nycourtanya
ppealarisin
gfromanycri
minal
proceedings
withinthear
eaofjurisdi
ctionoftheA
ttorney-Gen
eralconcern
ed.
Theindepend
enceofthepr
osecutorial
authorityof
SouthAfrica
andNamibia
118
Thus,from22
July1977,th
eAttorney-G
eneralofSou
thWestAfric
awasin
thesamesubs
ervientposi
tionashisSo
uthAfricanc
ounterparts
.Althoughth
e
integrityof
SouthWestAf
ricawasanyt
hingbutresp
ectedbythec
onsecutive
SouthAfrica
ngovernment
s,thelegisl
atureacknow
ledgedthein
tegrityofth
e
prosecuting
authorityun
til1977.
Thedistinct
ionbetweenS
outhAfricaa
ndSouthWest
Africawasth
elastvestig
e
ofjudiciali
ndependence
inandrecogn
itionoftheM
andateCstat
usofthelatt
er
territory.I
tcon\ufb01rmed,a
tleastinpri
nciple,that
SouthWestAf
ricawasnotp
art
ofSouthAfri
ca.AsaManda
teCterritor
y,aSouthAfr
icanministe
rcouldnot
controltheA
ttorney-Gen
eral.WithAc
t51of1977,t
hislastbast
ionofjudici
al
independenc
ewasstrippe
dfromthepeo
pleofSouthW
estAfrica.T
heSouth
AfricanSupr
emeCourtofA
ppealexecut
ed\ufb01nalautho
rityoverthe
Supreme
CourtofSout
hWestAfrica
,anditsmini
sterofjusti
cecontrolle
dprosecutio
ns.
Thetightcon
trolofthepr
osecutorial
authoritywa
scloselyrel
atedtothe
politicalsi
tuationinSo
uthAfrica.I
ntheafterma
thofthe1976
studentrevo
lt,
thegovernme
ntofJohnVor
sterwasadam
anttheywoul
dcontrolall
spheresof
society.The
newCriminal
ProcedureAc
twasbutoneo
faseriesofo
ppressive
piecesofleg
islationema
natingfromt
hatperiod.
Thetimeofth
eimplementa
tionofpolit
icalcontrol
overtheSout
hWestAfrica
n
Attorney-Ge
neralislike
wisenotwith
outpolitica
lsigni\ufb01canc
e.The