Criminal and Related Matters Amendment Bill: deliberations
24 February 2021
Chairperson: Mr G Magwanishe (ANC)
In a virtual meeting, the Committee of Justice and Correctional Services deliberated on the proposed amendments as contained in the A-List of the Criminal and Related Matters Amendment Bill [B17-2020]. There was now a new clause covering the offence of attempted murder. There was also the inclusion of premeditated murder where there was a law enforcement agent involved, person that is below the age of 18 and where death is a result of sexual or physical abuse in domestic violence situation. The Committee was satisfied with all the proposed amendments and no further amendments were made. The Committee will vote on the Bill at a later stage.
The Committee voted in favour of the suspension of Magistrate Kholeka Bodlani in KZN.
Deliberations on proposed amendments
The Chairperson went through the A-list proposed amendments to the Criminal and Related Matters Amendment Bill [B17-2020] in a point-by-point fashion. The Members of the Committee stated their stance on each proposed amendment as the Chairperson went through each amendment.
The proposed amendment to clause 15 read;
1. On page 15, after line 11, to insert the following paragraph:
"(b) by the insertion of the following offence:
"Attempted murder, in circumstances referred to in paragraphs (a) to (g) of the offence of 'murder'.".
2. On page 15, in line 10, to omit the first "(b)"’ and to substitute "(c)".
3. On page 16, in line7, to omit the first "(c)"’ and to substitute “(d)".
The Chairperson asked for clarity on clause 15.
Adv Sarel Robbertse, State Law Adviser, stated that this clause seeks to amend part one of schedule two of the Minimum Sentences Act. The clause relates to murder. During the Committee deliberations, the concern was that instances where murder was committed as prescribed by part one, schedule two, excluded attempted murder. Thus, there was the inclusion of a new offence of attempted murder that was committed in circumstances stimulated in paragraph A-G of the offence of murder. There was also the inclusion of premeditated murder where there was a law enforcement agent involved, person that is below the age of 18 and where death is a result of sexual or physical abuse in domestic violence situation. If the offence of murder is not committed and a victim survives, attempted murder will ensure that a minimum sentence, as contemplated in part one, schedule two of the Criminal Law Amendment Act, will apply and the court can prescribe the minimum sentence.
Since a new offence is inserted resulting in the subsequent proposed amendments being renumbered, the only inclusion is the offence of attempted murder in part one, schedule two of the Minimum Sentences Act.
The Chairperson asked what does “omit b and substitute with c” mean under clause 15.
Adv Robbertse stated that this is renumbering. Paragraph b originally related to rape which is now renumber to paragraph c. Paragraph c is related to compelled rape and is renumbered to d. Renumbering is a result of the new offence that has been inserted.
The Committee was satisfied with the proposed amendments. The Chairperson stated that the Committee would not be voting on the Bill in the meeting however, the Committee is happy with the Bill as it stands. The Chairperson thanked the Department for its attendance and engagement. The Department was then dismissed.
Proposed Suspension of Magistrate Kholeka Bodlani
The Chairperson tabled the report before the Committee regarding the proposed suspension of Ms Bodlani, an Acting Magistrate in the KZN Regional Court. The report was not presented as it was circulated to the Committee prior to the meeting.
Adv G Breytenbach (DA) stated that the proposed suspension has been dealt with thoroughly by the Committee and thus, she supports the suspension of the Acting Magistrate.
Ms J Mofokeng (ANC) seconded the motion to support the suspension.
The Committee was thus in favour of the suspension of the Acting Magistrate.
The Chairperson stated that the National Council of Provinces (NCOP) has supported the suspension of the Acting Magistrate. The resolution will now go before the House.
The Chairperson stated that Prof Belinda Bozzoli (DA) passed away on December 5, 2020 while Parliament was on recess. He expressed his condolences to her family, the Party and all those that were close to her.
Ms Mofokeng expressed her sincere condolences to the DA and the family and friends of Prof Bozzoli. She stated that Prof Bozzoli was one of the best in Parliament and she hopes that the current Members of Parliament will pick up from where she left off. May her soul rest in peace.
Adv Breytenbach stated that she would pass the condolences on to the DA. She expressed her appreciation for the kind words from the Members.
The Chairperson stated that in dark times, parties unite in support, comradeship, patriotism and as true South Africans, embracing the spirit of Ubuntu. He thanked all for their attendance.