The national prosecuting authority's policy and directives relating to post-truth and reconciliation commission prosecutions

28 August 2009

The National Prosecuting Authority’s policy and directives relating to post- Truth and Reconciliation Commission prosecutions have been the topic of much recent debate. The process, followed by the amendment of the Prosecution Policy and the consequent formulation of the policy and directives, neither made provision for public participation nor for the input of victims. Furthermore, standard arrangements in the normal execution of justice and the prosecuting mandate in terms of empowering legislation were incorporated into the policy and directives which includes plea and sentence agreements in terms of s 105A of the Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977. This section was employed to successfully secure conviction of five accused in the Vlok case. This case was one of the first prosecutions in terms of the policy and directives since the Truth and Reconciliation Commission has completed its work. Due to the specific nature and application of the policy and directives as well as s 105A, stronger emphasis is placed on victim participation by affording those ultimately affected by its application the opportunity to participate.