Protection of Constitutional Democracy Against Terrorist and Related Activities Bill tabled

terrorist
21 Jul 2022

The Protection of Constitutional Democracy Against Terrorist and Related Activities Amendment Bill has been tabled in parliament.

The department of police published the bill’s explanatory summary in Government Gazette 46649 at the beginning of July 2022.

The proposed legislation was published for comment in 2021.

Cabinet gave the green light to the bill in June for tabling in parliament.

In a statement, cabinet declared that the amendments seek to align the country’s domestic instruments of fighting terrorism with the global measures that have been put in place.

They have also addressed the clauses that were deemed unconstitutional by the Constitutional Court.

Cabinet added that, as a signatory to the UN Security Council, South Africa is “duty-bound to domesticate the international laws that seek to strengthen measures to combat global terrorism”.

The bill aims to update the Protection of Constitutional Democracy against Terrorist and Related Activities Act in terms of developments in international law, to give effect to certain Constitutional Court judgments and to address challenges experienced with conducting investigations and prosecutions.

According to the department, particular provisions have been inserted to “cater for foreign terrorist fighters and to address the sentencing of the financing of terrorism”.

The bill also seeks to amend certain definitions in the principal act and insert new offences related to maritime and aviation security.

It also aims to repeal the “exclusion that an armed struggle for liberation shall not be considered to be a terrorist activity”.

The bill aims to amend the Protection of Constitutional Democracy against Terrorist and Related Activities Act, 2004, so as to:

  • delete, amend and insert certain definitions for purposes of alignment with international instruments adopted upon the implementation of the Act;
  • provide for offences related to terrorist training and the joining and establishment of terrorist organisations;
  • provide for offences related to foreign travel and attempts to leave the Republic under certain circumstances;
  • provide for offences in respect of the possession and distribution of publications with unlawful terrorism related content;
  • provide for authorisation to be obtained from the Director of Public Prosecutions in respect of the investigation and prosecution of certain offences;
  • provide for the issuing of warrants for the search and cordoning off of vehicles, persons and premises;
  • provide for a direction requiring the disclosure of a decryption key and the effect of a direction to disclose a decryption key;
  • provide for the removal of, or making inaccessible, publications with unlawful terrorism related content; and
  • provide for matters connected therewith.

The portfolio committee on police will process the bill.

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(This article is provided for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. For more information on the topic, please contact the author/s or the relevant provider.)
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