Case Law

The Centre’s mission is to work towards the development of child law and the realisation of children’s rights in South Africa. One of the ways in which the achieves this is through impact litigation to obtain precedent-setting judgments and court orders that advance children’s rights.

Centre for Child Law Cases

South African Cases

African Cases

2024

Centre for Child Law and Others v South African Council for Educators and Others (1289/2022) [2024] ZASCA 45 (9 April 2024)

Theme: Enforcement of the ban on corporal punishment in schools and SACE’s duty to protect the best interest of the child.

Issue: 1. Administrative law – when does the clock begin to run under s 7(1)(b) of the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act 3 of 2000 (PAJA), in the absence of reasons?

2. Whether SACE unlawfully fettered its statutory discretion by applying its mandatory sanctions policy as a rigid set of rules that permitted no discretion.

Reference: (1289/2022) [2024] ZASCA 45 (9 April 2024).

Full Judgement: PDF

P.P.M and Others v Minister of Home Affairs and Others (14238/21) [2024] ZAGPPHC 2 (16 January 2024)

Theme: Blocking of birth registration or ID of any child whose parent’s ID has been unlawfully “blocked” or is under investigation by DHA.
Issue: Legality of DHA’s practice of blocking South African identity numbers prior to the correct investigation and procedural steps being followed.
Reference: North Gauteng High Court, Pretoria (ZAGPPHC 2).  Case Number: (14238/21) [2024]
Full Judgement: PDF

2023

VJV and Another v Minister of Social Development and Another [2023] ZACC 21

Theme: Rights of children conceived by artificial fertilisation
Issue: Whether section 40 of the Children’s Act is unconstitutional to the extent that it excludes permanent life partners.
Reference: Constitutional Court of South Africa Case Number: CCT 94/22
Judgment: PDF

Centre for Child Law v T S and Others [2023] ZACC 22

Theme: Access to justice for children
Issue: Whether children of unmarried parents ought to be entitled to enlist the services of the family advocate in matters affecting them without prior court intervention.
Reference: Constitutional Court of South Africa Case Number: CCT 157/22
Judgment: PDF

2022

ST v BN & Others (Centre for Child Law as amicus curiae)

Theme: Access to justice for children
Issue: Whether children of unmarried parents ought to be entitled to enlist the services of the family advocate in matters affecting them without prior court intervention.
Reference: High Court, Johannesburg Case Number: 2020/26471
Judgment: PDF

VJ & TR v Min of Social Development & Min of Justice (Centre for Child Law as amicus) Feb 2022

Theme: Surrogacy; Rights of children conceived by artificial fertilisation
Issue: The High Court declared section 40 of the Children’s Act unconstitutional in so far as it does not provide for automatic acquisition of parental responsibilities and rights by unmarried couples who conceive by way of artificial fertilization.

The impugned provision violates the rights, of children born by way of artificial fertilisation, to family and/or parental care as only one, instead of both, parents is recognized.
Reference: High Court, Johannesburg Case Number: 27706/2021
Judgment: PDF

2021

KHD v HOD, Department of Social Development & Others

Theme: Proper interpretation of section 239(1)(d) of the Children’s Act to recommend an adoption
Reference: High Court, Pretoria Case No. 30205/2019
Downloads: High Court judgment | PDF

Centre for Child Law v Director General: Department of Home Affairs and Others

Theme: Birth registration of children’s births by unmarried fathers
Reference: [2021] ZACC 31
Downloads: Constitutional Court judgment | PDF

Mpolokeng M Kedibane obo MK and MT v Road Accident Fund (Centre for Child Law as amicus curiae)

Theme: Payments by the Road Accident Fund in claims involving children
Reference: High Court, Johannesburg Case No. 1677/2019
Downloads: High Court judgment | PDF

MK v National Student Financial Aid Scheme and Another

Theme: Access to student financial aid for young persons who are permanent residents
Reference: High Court, Pretoria Case No. TBC
Downloads:
Centre for Child Law Founding Affidavit | PDF
Infographic | PDF

2020

Centre for Child Law v Department of Basic Education

Theme: Protecting learners with disabilities returning to school during Covid-19 pandemic
Reference: High Court, Free State Case No. 2477/2020, 4 August 2020
Downloads:
Centre for Child Law Founding Affidavit | PDF
High Court Order | PDF

Hassim N.O. v MEC, Department of Social Development, Free State

Theme: The care, protection and provision of education for a child with behavioural difficulties
Reference: High Court, Free State Case No. 2477/2020, 4 August 2020
Downloads: High Court Judgment | PDF

S v L M and Others

Theme: The decriminalisation of the use and possession of cannabis by children and not the legalisation
Reference: [2020] ZAGPJHC 170; [2020] 4 All SA 249 (GJ); 2020 (2) SACR 509 (GJ); 2021 (1) SA 285 (GJ) (31 July 2020)
Downloads:
Centre for Child Law Submissions | PDF
High Court Judgment | PDF

Equal Education & Others v Minister of Basic Education & Others

Theme: Reinstatement of the National School Nutrition Programmed during school closure as a result of Covid19 lockdown
Reference: High Court, Pretoria Case No. 22588/2020, 2 July 2020
Downloads: Children’s Institute’s Heads of Argument as Amicus Curiae (represented by the Centre for Child Law) | PDF

AB and Another v Pridwin Preparatory School and Others

Theme: Protection of the Right to Basic Education for children in independent (private) schools
Reference: Constitutional Court, [2020] ZACC 12, 16 May 2019
Downloads:
Centre for Child Law submissions as Amicus Curiae | PDF
Constitutional Court Judgment | PDF

Centre for Child Law v Director- General:Department of Home Affairs and Others

Theme: Undocumented children’s right to birth registration
Reference: Eastern Cape High Court, Grahamstown, Case No. CA 319/2018, 19 May 2019
Downloads: High Court Judgment | PDF

National Adoption Coalition of South Africa v Head of Department of Social Development, for the Province of KZN and Others

Theme: Addressing bottlenecks in the KZN adoption system
Reference: Kwa-Zulu Natal, High Court, Durban [2020] ZAKZDHC 6, 1 November 2019
Downloads: High Court Court Judgment | PDF

2019

Centre for Child Law and Others v Minister of Basic Education and Others

Theme: Undocumented children’s right to access basic education
Reference: High Court, Grahamstown Case No. 2840/2017, 12 December 2019
Downloads:
Centre for Child Law Heads of Argument (on behalf of 37 learners) | PDF
High Court judgment | PDF

Centre for Child Law and Others v Media 24 Limited and Others

Theme: Protecting the identities of child victims, witnesses & offenders before and after they turn 18 years old
Reference: Constitutional Court, [2019] ZACC 46, 4 December 2019
Downloads:
Centre for Child Law Heads of Argument | PDF
Centre for Child Law 2nd Heads of Argument | PDF
Constitutional Court judgment | PDF

Minister of Social Development v Centre for Child Law

Theme: Comprehensive legal solution for an overburdened foster care system
Reference: High Court, Pretoria Case No. 72513/2017, 26 November 2019
Downloads:
Centre for Child Law Opposing Affidavit | PDF
High Court order (by agreement) | PDF

Moodley v Kenmont School and Others (Centre for Child Law as Amicus Curiae)

Theme: Constitutionality of section 58A(4) of the Schools Act that states that “the assets of a public school may not be attached as a result of any legal action taken against the school”
Reference: Constitutional Court, [2019] ZACC 37, 9 October 2019
Downloads:
Centre for Child Law heads of argument | PDF
Constitutional Court judgment | PDF

Freedom of Religion South Africa v Minister of Justice and Constitutional Development and Others

Theme: Constitutionality of the defence of reasonable chastisement (corporal punishment in the home)
Reference: Constitutional Court, [2019] ZACC 34; 2019 (11) BCLR 1321 (CC); 2020 (1) SA 1 (CC), 18 September 2019
Downloads:
Centre for Child Law heads of argument | PDF
Constitutional Court judgment | PDF

S v S and Another (Centre for Child Law as Amicus Curiae)

Theme: Appealing rule 43 orders (maintenance orders)
Reference: Constitutional Court, [2019] ZACC 22; 2019 (8) BCLR 989 (CC); 2019 (6) SA 1 (CC), 27 June 2019
Downloads:
Centre for Child Law Heads of Argument | PDF
Constitutional Court judgment | PDF

Centre for Child Law & 37 Learners v Minister of Basic Education (Constitutional Court)

Theme: Urgent placement of undocumented learners
Reference: Constitutional Court, case CCT 19/19, 15 February 2019
Downloads:
Centre for Child Law Affidavit to the Constitutional Court | PDF
Constitutional Court order (by agreement) | PDF

2018

Centre for Child Law & 37 Learners v Minister of Basic Education

Reference: High Court of South Africa, Eastern Cape Division, case 3317/18
Downloads: High Court judgment | PDF

Centre for Child Law & Others v Media24 & Others

Reference: Supreme Court of Appeal, case 871/2017
Downloads:
Centre for Child Law Heads of Argument | PDF
Media Houses’ Heads of Argument | PDF
Case Chronology | PDF
Supreme Court of Appeal Judgment | PDF
Issue: Protecting the identities of child victims, witnesses and offenders

Naki & Others v Director-General: Department of Home Affairs and Another

Reference: High Court, Eastern Cape, case 4994/2016 (2018)
Downloads: Judgment – PDF
Issue: Ensuring access to birth registration for all children

NS v Presiding Officer of the Children's Court, Johannesburg

Reference: [2018] ZAGPJHC 59
Downloads: Judgment | PDF
Issue: Children’s Court jurisdiction to hear adoption matters

2017

Dladla and Another v The City of Johannesburg

Reference: 2018 (2) BCLR 119 (CC); 2018 (2) SA 327 (CC)
Downloads: Judgment | PDF
Issue: Temporary housing accommodation

YG v The State

Reference: 2018 (1) SACR 64 (GJ)
Downloads: Judgment | PDF
Issue: Corporal punishment in the home and the use of the defence of reasonable chastisement

Botha N.O. v MEC of Education, Western Cape

Reference: Western Cape Division, Cape Town, case 24611/11
Downloads: CCL Heads | PDF
Issue: Protecting learners from community school’s eviction from private land

Centre for Child Law and 4 Others v Media 24 Limited and 13 Others (Part B)

Reference: North Gauteng High Court – Pretoria, case 23871/15

Downloads:
Issue: protection of a child’s identity in section 154(3) of CPA

2016

CCL v MEC Social Development, Gauteng & OthersCentre for Child Law v Governing Body of Hoerskool Fochville

Reference: North Gauteng High Court, case 73662/16 (4 October 2016) | PDF
Issue: Policy for children with behavioural disorders

ADT and Another v MEC for Health and Social Development

Reference: Western Cape High Court, case 27428/10 (2016)
Issue: payment system for cerebral palsy cases

AB and Surrogacy Advisory Group v. the Minister of Social Development (Centre for Child Law as Amicus Curiae)

Reference: Constitutional Court, case CCT 155/15
Judgment;
CCL submissions
Issue: Surrogacy

The State v SD

Reference: Kwazulu Natal High Court – Pietermaritzburg, case no AR346/15
Issue: Diversion order of child

MR v Minister of Safety & Security

Reference: Constitutional Court Judgment case no CCT 151/15
Issue: Best interests of child when arresting child

Breytenbach N.O. v Minister of Home Affairs and Others

Reference: Unreported High Court Judgment case no 50365/14
Issue: Citizenship of children born to a South African parent

Jijana & Others v The State

Unreported judgement: JIJANA JUDGMENT ROBERSON 2016
Issue: Review of children’s sentences following a finding that their original sentences could not be carried out due to the Child & Youth Care Centre (CYCC) not being fully functional.

2015

Centre for Child Law v Governing Body of Hoerskool Fochville

Reference: Unreported Supreme Court of Appeal Judgment case no 156/2015
Summary:
Issue:
Legal representation of children

AB and Surrogacy Advisory Group v Minister of Social Development

Reference: Unreported High Court Judgment case no 40658/13
Summary:
Issue: Surrogacy and the ‘genetic link requirement’

Mubake and Others v the Minister of Home Affairs and Others

Summary:
Issue: Separated asylum seeker children should be considered dependents of the relatives caring for them

Acting Speaker of the National Assembly v Teddy Bear Clinic for Abused Children and RAPCAN

Summary: Constitutional Court Media Summary
Issue: Extension of the suspension of the declaration of invalidity of sections 15 and 16 of the Sexual Offences Amendment Act

Centre for Child Law and 4 Others v Media 24 Limited and 13 Others (Part A)

Summary:
Issue: Protection of the identity of child known as Zephany Nurse pending conclusion of Part B of the case

Coughlan N.O v The Road Accident Fund

Summary: Constitutional Court Media Summary
Issue: Deduction of foster child grant and child support grant from damages paid out for loss of support by RAF

Jezile v The State and Others
Summary:

Issue: Customary practice of ‘Ukuthwala’ not a defence in trafficking, rape and assault case

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