WHAT IS THE CJA?
Prior to 1 April 2010, children who committed crime were dealt with, in terms of the Criminal Procedure Act, 1977 (Act 51 of 1977) which also deals with adults who commit crime. The aim of the CJA is to set up a child justice system for children in confl ict with the law. This means that children under the age of 18, who are suspected to have committed crime, will not be dealt with in terms of the normal criminal procedure which is used for adults, but the child justice process will be followed.
The CJA seeks to ensure that child justice matters are managed in a rights-based manner and to assist children suspected of committing crime to turn their lives around and become productive members of society by engaging with the child in restorative justice measures, diversions and other alternative sentencing options.
AGE GROUPS COVERED BY THE ACT
According to the CJA, a child is someone who is under the age of 18. The CJA is specifically intended for children between the ages 10 and 18. The CJA states that:
- A child under the age of 10 years cannot be arrested! This means that a child under 10 years does not have criminal capacity and cannot be charged or arrested for an offence. In such a case, the child will be referred to the Children’s Court.
- A child older than 10 years but below the ages of 14 years is presumed to lack criminal capacity unless the state proves that he/she has criminal capacity. Such a child can be arrested.
- A child above 14, but under 18 years of age, is said to have criminal capacity and can be arrested.
Department of Social Development's list of centres accommodating children: Awaiting Trial and Sentenced
NATIONAL POLICY FRAMEWORK
Objectives of the Policy Framework
The NPF, as per the requirements of section 96 (1), include guidelines for the implementation of the priorities and strategies contained in the NPF; measuring progress on the achievement of the NPF and ensuring that the different organs of state comply with the primary and supporting roles and responsibilities allocated to them in terms of the NPF and this Act.
National Policy Framework on the Child Justice Act, 2008 (Act 75 of 2008)
- Child Justice Act, 2008 (Act 75 of 2008) [English / Setswana]
- Regulations: GG 33067, Notice 251: Child Justice Act (75/2008): Regulations relating to child justice;
- Children's Act, 2005 (Act 38 of 2005) and it's regulations
- Relevant cases
- 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]
- Follow this link to also view the relevant forms for the Children's Act.
- Child Justice Act: Accredited diversion service providers and diversion programmes, GG 38794, GoN 409, 15 May 2015
- GG 34960, GoN 49 [635kb] Child Justice Act: Accredited diversion programmes and service providers, 23 Jan 2012
- GG 34659, Notice 828 [423kb] Child Justice Act (75/2008): Accredited diversion programmes and service providers, 5 Oct 2011
- GG 33067, Notice 252: Child Justice Act (75/2008): Directives in terms of section 97 (4)
- GG 33461, Notice 801 - Child Justice Act (75/2008): Publication of National Policy Framework on Child Justice: For public comments. In terms of: s 93(2)(b) of the Child Justice Act, 2008, 75 of 2008.
- Commencement of the remaining sections of the Children's Act, 2005 (Act 38 of 2005) - Sections 15 & 315 comes into operation on 01 April 2010
- Section 97(3) of the Child Justice Act, 2008: Determination of persons or category or class of persons competent to conduct the evaluation of criminal capacity of a child and the allowances and remuneration
- Follow this link to view cases emanating from the Child Justice Act, 2008 (Act 75 of 2008)
DOCUMENTS & REPORTS
- Departmental Annual Report on the Implementation of the Child Justice Act for 2015/2016
- Protecting our Children: The Child Justice Act, 2008 (Act 75 of 2008) establishes a criminal justice system for children in conflict with the law that expands and entrenches the principles of restorative justice, while ensuring their responsibility and accountability for crimes committed. 
- Departmental Annual Report on the Implementation of the Child Justice Act for 2013/2014
- Combined Annual Report on the Implementation of the Child Justice Act, 2008 (Act 75 of 2008) for 2012/2013
- 2nd Annual Report on the Intersectoral Implementation of the Child Justice Act, 75 of 2008 ( April 2011 – March 2012)
- Factsheet on the Act, 2010
- Child Justice Flyer, 2010
- Interim Protocol for the Management of Children Awaiting Trial - 2002
- Child Justice Project - 2000
- Busi goes to court - 1999
- Law talk for children - 1998
Chief Directorate: Promotion of the Rights of Vulnerable Groups
Senior Legal Administration Officer
Ms Pritima Osman, Tel: 012 357 8205, Email: POsman@justice.gov.za
All queries and complaints relating to matters dealt by Family Advocate matters can be directed to:
The Office of the Chief Family Advocate
Ms Karabo Litheko
Tel: 012 315 1867, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
ONE-STOP CHILD JUSTICE CENTRES (OSCJC)
Centre Manager: Mr Nkosana Tshabalala
Tel: 018 466 5500/ 082 607 1598 21591
Physical address: Benji Oliphant Road, Klerksdorp
Centre Manager: Harriet Katangana Contact Details
Tel: 041 402 9830 / 083 432 9932
Physical address: Corner of Phyllis and Gumpert Street, Schauderville, Port Elizabeth, 6000
Postal address: Private Bag X 3904, North End, PE, 6056
Centre Manager: Ms Carol Steward contact details
Tel : 051 034 1904 / 083 302 6247
Physical address: 28 Drente Street, Erlichpark, Bloemfontein, 9300