ATC210218: Report of the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services on the Correctional Services Amendment Bill [B 32 – 2020], dated 17February 2021
Report of the Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services on the Correctional Services Amendment Bill [B 32 – 2020], dated 17February 2021
The Portfolio Committee on Justice and Correctional Services, having considered the Correctional Services Amendment Bill[B32– 2020], reports the Billwithout amendments. The Committee further reports as follows:
- On 3 May 2019, in the matter between Phaahla v Minister of Justice and Correctional Servicesand Another (ThlakanyaneIntervening)  ZACC 18, the Constitutional Court, confirmed the decision of the High Court of South Africa, Gauteng Division, Pretoria, which declared invalid section 136(1) of the Correctional Services Act of 1998 (Act, 111 of 1998) on the grounds that the impugned provision breached the constitutional rights to equal treatment by the law and not to be discriminated against unfairly.
- The Constitutional Court suspended the declaration of constitutional invalidity for 24 months to afford Parliament an opportunity to enactremedial legislation, that is before 3 May 2021.
- The Constitutional Court has provided a ‘read in’ provision pending the amendment of the legislation by Parliament, which will apply during the 24 months of the suspension of the order of constitutional invalidity. The read-in provision is as follows: “Any person serving a sentence of incarceration for an offence committed before the commencement of Chapters 4,6 and 7 of the Correctional Services Act is subject to the provisions of the Correctional Services Act 8 of 1959, relating to his or her placement under community corrections, and is to be considered for such release and placement by the Correctional Supervision and Parole Board in terms of the policy and guidelines applied by the former Parole Board prior to the commencement of those chapters”
- On 18 October 2020, theCorrectional Services Amendment Bill, 2020, was introduced and referred to the Committee for consideration and report. The Committee was briefed by the Department of Correctional Services on the contents of the Bill on 3 November 2020.
- The Bill seeks to amend the Correctional Services Act 111 of 1998 in order to align it with the Constitution and the Phaahla judgement with regard to the placement of a sentenced offender under day parole, parole and correctional supervision; and to provide for minimum periods to be served before becoming eligible for consideration for such release and placement in terms of parole regime applicable at the date of commission of an offence.
- In response to its call for public comment, the Committee received a total of two (2) written submissions from:
- Mr MG Buthelezi.
- Helen Zuzman Foundation (HSF).
- The Committee held the public hearings on a virtual platform on 2 February 2021where the Helen Suzman Foundation (HSF)made an oral presentation, which addressed, among others, the need for further clarity regarding the applicable parole regime in the case of multiple and continuing offences.
- The Committee notes that the Department is in the process of drafting amendments to the Correctional Services Act, 1998, and to the relevant Regulations. In this regard, the Committee is of the view that Parliament have sight of the proposed amended regulations prior to promulgation.
Report to be considered
No related documents