Children younger than 12 years of age in South Africa will no longer face criminal judgements.

The Department of Justice and Correctional Services in South Africa says the amended Child Justice Act of 2008 increases the minimum age of criminal capacity for children from 10 to 12 years.

Which means that children younger than 12 years of age may not be charged, arrested or prosecuted for their crimes. Chrispin Phiri, the spokesperson stated that such cases may be dealt with by social workers, outside of the criminal justice system. He further explained that President Cyril Ramaphosa approved the amendment last week.

According to Phiri, “After the various legislative processes, the Child Justice Act of 2008 has been duly amended to ensure that South Africa complies with the recommendation by the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child to progressively raise the minimum age of criminal capacity”

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