The FHR holds a workshop with NPA and legal experts on international crimes

On 11 October 2019, the FHR organized a workshop on international crimes and the development of a prosecutorial policy to deal with the Unfinished Business of the TRC. It was held jointly with the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) at the Financial Intelligence Centre in Centurion. The Workshop brought together the NPA, including the National Director of Public Prosecutions Shamila Batohi and prosecutors from the Priority Crimes Litigation Unit both from the provinces and the HQ, the FHR, pro-bono lawyers from Webber & Wentzel and Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyer, counsel for the families, as well as experts and practitioners. 

Ms Yasmin Sooka, former Director of the FHR and international human rights expert, spoke about the political compromise that was concluded in South Africa and the consequences thereof. Particularly, the compromise provided that the investigations and prosecutions of gross human rights violations would follow their natural course in instances where the alleged perpetrators had been refused or had not applied for amnesty.

The main purpose of the workshop was to discuss three major issues, namely the prosecutorial strategy in the aftermath of mass atrocities and what impact it may have on similar cases going forward; the possibility of consolidating the cases into so-called “mega trials” following the example of Argentina’s ESMA Mega-Trial, concluded in 2017; and the possibility of including international crimes charges for crimes committed during apartheid.

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