Priority Crimes Litigation Unit

Dealing with crimes of national and international security concern
  • Purpose

    The Priority Crimes Litigation Unit was established in terms of a Presidential Proclamation to manage and guide investigations and prosecutions of specific crimes and offences of national and international security concern. These are:

    The Implementation of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court Act, 27 of 2002 (South Africa’s ICC Act)  High treason and sedition Terrorism offences (i.e. contraventions of the Protection of Constitutional Democracy Against Terrorist and Related Activities Act 33 of 2004), which will include terror financing as well as Transgressions of the Regulation of Foreign Military Assistance Act 15 of 1998.
    • Also part of the unit’s mandate are e.g. proliferation financing as well as contraventions of the Implementation of the Geneva Conventions Act 8 of 2012 and the Prevention and Combating of Torture of Persons Act 13 of 2013.
    • Further priority crimes, determined by the National Director as also falling within the PCLU’s mandate, include contraventions of:
    • The Non-Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction Act 87 of 1993
    • The National Conventional Arms Control Act 41 of 2002
    • The Nuclear Energy Act 46 of 1999
    • The National Nuclear Regulator Act 47 of 1999
    • The Protection of Information Act 84 of 1982
    • The Intelligence Services Act 65 of 2002
    • The Criminal Law Second Amendment Act 126 of 1992 etc.
  • Background

    The Priority Crimes Litigation Unit (PCLU) was created by Presidential proclamation on 24 March 2003 and is located in the office of the National Director of Public Prosecutions

  • Roles and Responsibilities

    Investigations of PCLU cases are primarily conducted by DPCI’s Crimes Against The State (CATS) component. Since the introduction of a decentralised model with effect from 3 April 2019, the Offices of Directors of Public Prosecutions where PCLU offences had been committed are responsible for guiding such investigations and conducting prosecutions, where applicable – subject to the oversight, guidance and support of the PCLU Head Office component. 

    The unit also:

    • Contributes to the strategic management of the NPA through involvement in National Operations Management Meetings (NOMM), EXCO and the NPS.

    • Advises the NDPP and NPS ahead of parliamentary and ministerial briefings.

    • Has to comply with numerous national and international reporting obligations. 
The team

Adv. Gideon Mashamaite
Acting Special Director

Senior Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions

Dr. Torie Pretorius (JP)
Senior Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions

Dr. Susan Bukau (SC)
Senior State Advocate

Senior State Advocate

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