CAT/C/ZAF/CO/2

(a)
in 2007;

The Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act,

(b)

The Correctional Services Amendment Act, in 2008;

(c)

The Child Justice Act, in 2008;

(d)

The Independent Police Investigative Directorate Act, in 2011;

(e)
The Protection from Harassment Act, providing for protection orders against
harassment in the context of domestic violence, in 2011;
(f)

The Military Ombud Act, in 2012;

(g)

The Prevention and Combating of Torture of Persons Act, in 2013;

(h)

The Prevention and Combating of Trafficking in Persons Act, in 2013;

(i)

The South African Human Rights Commission Act, in 2013;

(j)
The Superior Courts Act, providing a uniform framework for judicial
management, in 2013.

C.

Principal subjects of concern and recommendations
Pending follow-up issues from the previous reporting cycle
5.
In its previous concluding observations (CAT/C/ZAF/CO/1, para. 29), the
Committee requested the State party to provide further information regarding areas of
particular concern, including expelling, returning or extraditing persons where there were
substantial grounds for believing that they would be in danger of being subjected to torture
(para. 15); ill-treatment of non-citizens awaiting deportation in the Lindela Repatriation
Centre (para. 16); the strengthening of legal aid mechanisms for vulnerable groups (para.
21); measures to prevent and combat violence against women (para. 23); statistical data
relating to acts of torture and to abuses reportedly committed by South African
peacekeepers (para. 27); and legislation criminalizing torture and on child justice (para. 28).
The Committee regrets that the State party did not send any follow-up reply despite a
reminder from the Committee.
Categorization of torture and appropriate penalties
6.
While welcoming the adoption of the Prevention and Combating of Torture of
Persons Act and taking into account the explanations provided by the State party during the
dialogue, the Committee is concerned:
(a)
At the absence of a categorization of torture as a serious crime with a
mandatory minimum sentence, as compared to other serious crimes under criminal law,
such as assault, assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, murder and various sexual
offences, which may result in a suspended sentence for perpetrators of acts of torture that
would not be commensurate to the gravity of the crime;
(b)
That the Act does not provide for claims for redress by victims of torture,
who are obliged to seek redress and remedy through civil claims of damages for common
assault, assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, indecent assault or attempted murder,
which are long and costly and may lead to the victim’s retraumatization;
(c)
About the use of the Act in practice, since it does not provide for
investigation of acts of torture and since no public officials have been prosecuted under the
Act to date (arts. 2 and 4).
7.

The State party should:

(a)
Consider amending the Prevention and Combating of Torture of Persons
Act with a view to introducing mandatory minimum or graduated penalties leading
up to the maximum penalty for acts of torture, including by citing aggravating factors,

2

Select target paragraph3