Justice and Correctional Services Minister Ronald Lamola has called on the 14th Crime Congress to petition the international community to develop resilient measures aimed at holding States that disregard binding treaties accountable.
Recently held in Tokyo, Japan, the 14th Crime Congress is the world’s largest and most diverse gathering of policy-makers, practitioners, academia, intergovernmental organisations and civil society in the field of crime prevention and criminal justice.
Lamola emphasised that it is the duty of all states to ensure that criminals feel unsafe wherever they run to evade justice.
“We cannot allow ourselves to be adjudged to be complicit in creating safe havens for corrupt actors and criminals. Thus, there is a need for vigorous collaboration in repatriation of assets and extradition of criminals who evade justice,” Lamola said in a statement on Thursday.
Lamola stated that strengthening witness protection programmes, cybercrime measures, mutual legal assistance, combating human trafficking and organised wildlife crime as some of the mechanisms that ought to be employed. This is to further address the transnational nature of crime currently which, not only affects South Africa, but the entire global community.
The Minister also highlighted measures undertaken in South Africa, in line with previous Crime Congress recommendations and declarations including strengthening of the Criminal Justice System (CJS), enhancement of trust and integrity in the CJS and modernisation of its Information and communications technology (ICT) in dealing with cybercrime.
It also includes tackling Gender-Based Violence and Femicide (GBVF), as well as eradication of corruption.
The congress provides a forum for the exchange of views between States, intergovernmental and non-governmental organisations and individual experts representing various professions and disciplines; the exchange of experiences in research, law and policy development; and the identification of emerging trends and issues in crime prevention and criminal justice.