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Bill to enhance South African Extradition Law published for public comment

25 August 2022

The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development has published a draft Extradition Bill for public comment.
The international community has developed a series of mechanisms for international cooperation in criminal matters concerned in particular with extradition, mutual legal assistance, the transfer of criminal proceedings, the transfer of convicted persons, recognition of decisions of foreign criminal jurisdictions, the freezing or seizure of assets, and cooperation between law enforcement agencies. Those mechanisms relate to all types of criminality – international, transnational or national.

The current Extradition Act No 67 of 1962 is outdated. It is not in line with the Constitution of South Africa, modern extradition practices, and it does not cater for all procedures which are currently followed internationally  The changes proposed in the Bill also cater for the seizure of property which may be transferred to the state which requested extradition. 

It clarifies the role of magistrates in extradition proceedings and provides for a provisional arrest, surrender of a person sought by an international entity in respect of international crimes such as genocide, war crimes and crime against humanity.  Currently the only international entity that can have persons extradited to it is the International Criminal Court.

The Bill intends to strengthen the legal framework to give effect to the extradition of persons who are accused or convicted of crime to and from South Africa and foreign states and international entities. 

Minister Lamola said, the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into Allegations of State Capture, Corruption and Fraud in the Public Sector including Organs of State has shown how sophisticated corruption schemes can be.

Some of these schemes and often involve the commission of criminal acts in multiple jurisdictions. This is a challenge for our criminal legislation especially for law enforcement and prosecution agencies. To address this, we need to improve our international cooperation capacity in its various forms. Effective international cooperation is critically important for successfully investigating and prosecuting high-profile and complex corruption and white-collar crime cases.”

The draft Bill was published by the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development for initial comments.  Once the deadline for the receipt of the comments has passed, all comments will be considered and evaluated and the draft Bill will be redrafted, taking these inputs into account.   Only then will the Bill be sent to Cabinet for approval for introduction into Parliament. Once in Parliament, the public will have further opportunities to make input on the Bill as it passes through the National Assembly and National Council of Provinces.

We encourage members of the public to participate in the legislative process, but to do so responsibly and based on facts to improve the Bill.

The comments on the Bill must be submitted to Ms R Baloyi, on or before 04 Oct 2022. The contact details are:

(a) if they are forwarded by post, be addressed to: The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development Chief Directorate: Legislative Development, Private Bag X81, Pretoria, 0001
(b) If they are delivered by email, be emailed to: RegoBaloyi@justice.gov.za
(c) Fax nr: 012 406 4632

For further information, please do not hesitate to contact Ms R Baloyi on (012) 406 4769.

Issued By The Ministry of Justice and Correctional Services

Enquiries: Chrispin Phiri
Spokesperson for the Ministry of Justice and Correctional Services
Cell: 081 781 2261