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ZUG1106 - An introduction to the South African criminal justice system

Undergraduate – Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.


Faculty of Social and Health Sciences


South Africa

  • Second Semester 2019 (Day)

15 Credits


This module describes and analyses the important functions and structures of the South African criminal justice system. It also incorporates emerging forms of justice and formal and informal approaches to policing, justice and mediation, and punishment.


  • Give a critical exposition of the three different arms of the criminal justice system.
  • Critically discuss functions of the different arms of the criminal justice system in South Africa.
  • Define the role of criminal justice in the broader context of law and order.
  • Critique the various modes of achieving justice e.g. western laws vs local/indigenous forms.
  • Identify and describe various laws and procedures as well as terminology used by the various arms of the criminal justice system.
  • Explain the concepts/ structure of rights of suspects, the accused and offenders.
  • Explain how criminal justice aligns with other disciplines e.g. sociology, criminology, law, history, psychology, and political science


Within semester/Formative assessment: 65%
Examination/Summative assessment: 35%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this module is 150 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. Independent study may include associated readings, assessment and preparation for scheduled activities. The module requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.