02 December 2004
Cabinet has approved the South African Service’s Charter for Victims of Crime on 1 December 2004. The Charter which contains the following seven victims’ rights: the right to information, the right to protection, the right to assistance, the right to be treated with fairness and with respect for your dignity and privacy, the right to compensation and the right to restitution addresses the needs and experiences of South African victims/survivors. It aims to instill in our national community an improved sense of security, empowerment and trust in the process that play themselves out in our courts.
“The Services Charter for Victims of Crime in South Africa (the Victims’ Charter) is an important instrument of promoting justice for all. The Victim’s Charter is compliant with the Spirit of the South African Constitution, 1996, Act 108 of 1996, and the United Nations Declaration of Basic Principles of Justice for Victims of Crime and Abuse of Power, 1985 ( GA/RAS/40/34), This is according to the Minister for Justice and Constitutional Development, Mrs. B.S. Mabandla, MP.
The Minister mentioned that the Charter is consonant with the provision of section 234 of the Constitution and is in line with the National Crime Prevention Strategy’s victim-centred vision for the criminal justice system. She said the ultimate goal is victim empowerment through meeting victim’s needs, be they material or emotional.
In order to strengthen the rights of victims contained in the victims’ charter, a document on the minimum standards on services for victims of crime was also developed. The document not only outlines basic rights and principles, but also supplies detailed information to enable victims to exercise their rights and enable service providers to uphold those rights as outlined by the charter. The setting out of the minimum standards that a victim of crime can expect from service providers, will ensure that everyone involved in the criminal justice system is cooperating to enable victims to access appropriate services. The Charter together with the minimum standards document is intended to make real government’s commitment to improving service delivery for victims of crime.
The Minister further expressed her confidence that with the commitment and dedication of all role-players in the criminal justice process, the Victims’ Charter will assist in the implementation of the applicable laws in such a way that it serves its purpose “making justice a reality for all”
The Charter will be available from today on the following websites: www. doj.gov. za and www.gov.za
ISSUED BY: MINISTRY FOR JUSTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT