Private prosecutions and discrimination against juristic persons in South Africa: A comment on National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals v Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development & Another

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 16
  • Abstract:

    Unlike countries such as the United Kingdom, Kenya, Zimbabwe and Australia, in South Africa companies and associations are not permitted to institute private prosecutions although natural persons have a right to institute private prosecutions. In National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals v Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development & Another, the applicant argued that the law which permitted natural persons to institute private prosecutions and prevented companies and associations from doing so violated section 9 of the Constitution which protects the right to equality. The court held that the discrimination in question was not unfair. In this note, the author assesses the court's reasoning and recommends that there may be a need to empower companies to institute private prosecutions in South Africa.