Criminal Law: Expungements

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Expungement of a Criminal Record in terms of the Criminal Procedure Act, 1977 (Act 51 of 1997)

Applications for expungement of criminal records in terms of the Criminal Procedure Act, 1977, are to be submitted to the Director General: Department of Justice and Constitutional Development as prescribed in Part I of the relevant application form. (Postal address: Director General: Dept of Justice and Constitutional Development, Private Bag X 81, Pretoria 0001. Physical address: Momentum Centre, 329 Pretorius Street, Pretoria.)

All applications received in this regard will be referred to the Office of the Chief Litigation Officer. Follow this link to view all available forms on this subject.

Enquiries can be emailed to expungements@justice.gov.za or you can contact any of the following officials for more information:

  • G Mashaba, Tel (012) 315 4654
  • K Mtshweni, Tel (012) 315 4665
  • N Mhlaba, Tel: (012) 315 1388
  • E Shongwe, Tel: (012) 315 1601

OFFICIALS WILL ONLY CONSULT WITH MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC ON PRIOR ARRANGEMENT: PLEASE MAKE AN APPOINTMENT.

 

Expungement of a Criminal Record in terms of the Child Justice Act, 2008 (Act 75 of 2008)

87 Expungement of records of certain convictions and diversion orders

(1) (a) Where a court has convicted a child of an offence referred to in Schedule 1 or 2, the conviction and sentence in question fall away as a previous conviction and the criminal record of that child must, subject to subsections (2), (3) and (5), on the written application of the child, his or her parent, appropriate adult or guardian (hereafter referred to as the applicant), in the prescribed form, be expunged after a period of...read more pdf

Form 13 (J763) - Application for Expungement of Records of Conviction and Sentence by the Director–General or Cabinet Member - Sections 87(1) and 87(3) of the Child Justice Act, 2008 (Act No. 75 of 2008), Regulations relating to Child Justice [Regulation 49] pdf

PLEASE NOTE:
Applications for expungement of diversions in terms of the Child Justice Act, 2008 (Act No 75 of 2008), should be submitted to the Department of Social Development.

For further information please contact:
Ms Conny Nxumalo
Chief Director: Families and Social Crime Prevention, Tel: 012 312 7686
E-mail: connyn@dsd.gov.za
or
Mr Steven Maselesele
Director for Social Crime Prevention, Tel: 012 312 7065
Email : stevenm@dsd.gov.za


FACTSHEET:  EXPUNGEMENT OF CRIMINAL RECORD

WHAT IS EXPUNGEMENT OF A CRIMINAL RECORD?

  • Expungement of a criminal record is a process by which a criminal record of a convicted offender is expunged from the criminal record database of the Criminal Record Centre of the South African Police Service.
  • This allows a person to carry on with life without a criminal record being an obstruction to employment opportunities.
  • This service is rendered free of charge by the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development.

WHEN CAN A PERSON APPLY FOR AN EXPUNGEMENT OF A CRIMINAL RECORD?

  • When a period of 10 years has passed after the date of the conviction for that offence.
  • When the person has not been convicted and sentenced to a period of imprisonment without the option of a fine during those 10 years.
  • When the sentence was corporal punishment.
  • When the sentence was postponed or the person was cautioned and discharged.
  • When the sentence was a fine not exceeding R20 000.
  • When the sentence was imprisonment with the option to pay a fine (not more than R20 000) instead of serving the period of imprisonment.
  • When the sentence of imprisonment was suspended wholly.
  • When the sentence was correctional supervision in terms of section 276(1)(h) of the Act.
  • When the sentence was imprisonment in terms of section 276(1)(i) of the Act.
  • When the sentence was periodical imprisonment in term of section 276(1)(c) of the Act.
  • When proof is provided that a person’s name has been removed from the National Register of Sex Offenders or the National Child Protection Register, if relevant.

A PERSON WILL NOT QUALIFY IF:

  • His or her name is included in the National Register for Sex Offenders or the National Child Protection Register and his or her name has not been removed from the National Register for Sex Offenders or the National Child Protection Register.
  • When a person was sentenced to direct imprisonment.
  • When a fine of more than R20 000 was imposed.
  • When a period of 10 years has not lapsed after the date of the conviction.
  • When a person was sentenced to direct imprisonment (the imprisonment was not suspended and there was not the option of a fine) during the relevant 10 year period.

  IMPORTANT DOCUMENTS TO BE SUBMITTED WITH THE APPLICATION

  • A clearance certificate from the Criminal Record Centre of the South African Police Service issued on a date 10 years after the conviction(s) and sentence(s).
  • Confirmation stating that your name has been removed from the National Register for Sex Offences or the National Child Protection Register if your name has been included in any of these registers.

STEPS DURING AN APPLICATION

  • The completed applications form (Part II and Part III), together with the attachments must be posted or delivered by hand to the Director-General:  Department of Justice and Constitutional Development: Postal Address:  Private Bag X81, Pretoria, 0001. Street Address: Momentum Centre, 329 Pretorius Street, Pretoria, 0001
  • If the Director-General is satisfied that a person meets the requirements, he or she will issue a certificate of Expungement directing that the conviction(s) and sentence(s) of the person be expunged—this process takes approximately 3 months.
  • The certificate of Expungement issued by the Director-General will be submitted to the head of the Criminal Record Centre of the South African Police Service within 14 working days after the Director-General issued it.
  • If the application for Expungement is refused, the person will be informed by post of this decision and reasons for the decision.
  • The head of the Criminal Record Centre of the South African Police Service will, within 21 working days after his or her receipt of the certificate of Expungement, confirm to the person in writing that the conviction(s) and sentence(s) in question has/have been expunged.