Centre for Child Law PDF Print E-mail

Annual report 2013 front cover 1The Centre for Child Law  was established in 1998 and is based in the Faculty of Law at the University of Pretoria. The Director of the Centre is Prof Ann Skelton.

The contribute towards establishing and promoting the best interests of children in South Africa through litigation, advocacy, research and education.

The Centre is registered as a Law Clinic which through strategic impact litigation aims to set legal precedent to improve and strengthen laws pertaining to children.

                              Download Annual Report 2013

Mud to bricks: A review of school infrastructure spending and delivery

MudtoBricks CoverDilapidated public school infrastructure can be found across the country, but the problem is particularly acute in the Eastern Cape where the majority of the so called 'mud schools' are located. On 04 February 2011, following court action on the issue of mud schools, the Legal Resources Centre, acting on behalf of 7 schools and the Centre for Child Law, concluded a landmark settlement with the National Department of Basic Education in which the Department committed to spend R8.2 billion from 1 April 2011 to 1 March 2014 to eradicate mud schools and improve infrastructure of schools throughout South Africa.

The Centre for Child Law commissioned Cornerstone Economic Research, to track school infrastucture spending and delivery. The aim of the research was to assess what progress has been made in addressing the issues that brought about the litigation.

This study, amonst other things, makes the concerning finding that the Department has woefully underspent the allocated school infrastructure funding for two years running. The target for the number of schools to be built in 2011/2012 and 2012/2013 was 49. However, only 10 had been completed at the end of the first year.

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Children at the centre: A guide to the registration of Child and Youth Care Centres

Despite the fact thCYCC Manual Web pic1at the Children's Act 38 of 2005 has been in operation for nearly three years, many child care facilities (including facilities previously referred to as children's homes) have not registered as child and youth care centres as prescribed by the Act.

The Centre saw the need to provide some assistance in the registration process and therefore put together a practical manual on registration of Child and Youth Care Centres.

The aim of this manual is to provide practical guidance to child care facilities through clarifying the registration requirements and procedures to be followed and through addressing the 'frequently asked questions'. 

"[A]ll the facilities recognised the importance of registration but were, without exception, crippled by the lack of information on the registration requirements and procedures..."

Download the manual


Latest Judgments

Western Cape High Court finds that the customary
practice of 'Ukuthwala' not a defence against
charges of trafficking, rape and assault of a child
Jezile v S (A127/2014) [2015] ZAWCHC (23 March 2015)
Supreme Court of Appeal rules on procedure to be
followed when accused sentenced in terms of
minimum sentences
Nndateni v S (959/13) [2014] ZASCA 122 (19 September 2014)

Upcoming Cases and Events


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Latest News



On 23 March 2015 the Western Cape High Court gave judgment in the matter of S v Jezile, the "first Ukuthwala conviction".

Jezile, who had been found guilt of abduction, rape and trafficking of a girl who was 14 years old at the time of the offences, had appealed his conviction and sentence to the High Court. As part of his defence and as a ground for appeal, Jezile stated that he had acted in accordance with the customary practice of Ukuthwala.

The Western Cape High Court invited organisations, including the Centre for Child Law, as amici curiae to assist in determining what the practice of Ukuthwala entailed and whether it could validly be raised as a defence against criminal charges of abduction, rape and trafficking.

The Centre for Child Law made submissions pertaining to the need to protect the girl child as entailed in the Constitution, the Children's Act, the Sexual Offences Act and international instruments. The Centre for Child Law welcomes the High Court's dismissal of Jezile's defence and the confirmation of the 22 year prison sentence that had been imposed on him by the court a quo.

The Centre is, however, of the view that the Western Cape High Court could have been stronger in condemning the practice of Ukuthwala where children are concerned.

For more information see below:
Press Release_24.03.2015
High Court Judgment_23.03.2015


Centre for Child Law