A global criminal justice update


SA police must investigate Zimbabwe torture case

“In a landmark decision for local and international justice, the South African Supreme Court of Appeal today ordered the South African Police Service (SAPS) to investigate high level Zimbabwean officials accused of committing crimes against humanity in Zimbabwe.

In its judgment, the Court made it clear that the perpetrators of systematic torture – as was alleged in this case – can be held accountable in South Africa regardless of where the offending acts took place. The Court noted that such crimes strike ‘at the whole of humankind and impinge on the international conscience.’ ”

Prisoners at risk in Fiji

“A study conducted on about 200 inmates incarcerated in correctional centers in the country revealed that 70 per cent have never been given HIV tests or educated about sexually-transmitted infections.

According to the study, one-third of participants reported not using condoms “all of the time” with casual sex partners in the 12 months prior to their imprisonment.

The Health in Prisoners in Fiji said an unpublished situation analysis in Fijian prisons showed that prisoners engaged in high levels of HIV risk behavior including unprotected sex and tattooing using unsterilized equipment.”

Oversight sees man jailed for three years

“Failure by a high court judge’s registrar to record that a man had been granted bail cost him three years in jail, the Pietermaritzburg High Court heard on Monday.

This mistake prompted Sivion Mkhize, 28, who was later set free after an appeal, to launch a R16 million claim, plus loss of earnings, against the minister of justice and constitutional development.”

Ipid to probe Krejcir assault case

“The Independent Police Investigative Directorate (Ipid) will probe allegations by Czech businessman Radovan Krejcir that he has been assaulted, an official said on Monday.

Ipid spokesperson Moses Dlamini said Krejcir was arrested for attempted murder and kidnapping at his home by a group of police officers.

“They took the complainant to a veld in the direction of Katlehong, where he was allegedly shocked with a tazer and a plastic bag was placed over his head to suffocate him,” Dlamini said in a statement.

“The complainant allegedly lost consciousness.”

This was reported to the Ipid after a case of assault was opened at Protea Glen police station.”

R3m claim for 114 days in detention

“A man who was held in the Brooklyn police cells for 114 days on allegations of copper theft and was released only on his acquittal is claiming more than R3 million in damages from the minister of police.

The Pretoria High Court last week found the police were liable for any damages which Tebogo George Mponya can prove he had suffered while being locked up.

Acting Judge H Kooverjie found that Mponya, a contract worker, should not have been arrested in the first place, as the police had acted on flimsy evidence.”

Cops to pay man over revenge arrest

“A former chairman of the Hartbeespoort policing forum will receive R180 000 from the police after being unlawfully detained by officers seeking revenge against him.

The Pretoria High Court found that the revenge against Pieter Rautenbach was due to his insistence that a task force be set up to investigate corrupt police officers.

The SAPS members who caused his arrest were implicated in possible wrong-doing, and they apparently wanted to get back at Rautenbach.

He was arrested in October 2008 and locked up for two hours on a charge of intimidation and interfering with police duties. It took six months before the criminal charges against him could be withdrawn.”

Canada’s prison population at all time high

“As well, Canada’s prison population is now at its highest level ever, even though the crime rate has been decreasing over the past two decades. Ten years ago, the number of inmates in federal prisons was close to 12,000. It’s now more than 15,000.

These are just some of the statistics expected to be examined Tuesday, when the annual report of Correctional Investigator of Canada Howard Sapers is tabled in Parliament. His report is widely expected to be a scathing indictment of federal correctional policy.

“You cannot reasonably claim to have a just society with incarceration rates like these,” Sapers said Sunday in a speech he gave at a church in Toronto.”



About witsjusticeproject
The Wits Justice Project combines journalism, advocacy, law and education to make the criminal justice system work better for all.

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