ESCAPING FROM YOUTH CARE CENTRE

S v PE 2015 (2) SACR 392 (GP)
Juvenile offenders — Offences by — Absconding from child and youth care centre — Child and youth care centre not ‘correctional centre’ and no statutory offence provided for escaping from such centre — Conviction of contravention of s 117(1)(a) of Correctional Services Act 111 of 1998 for absconding from centre replaced on review with conviction of common-law offence of escaping from custody.

The legislature could not have intended that juvenile offenders would no longer be criminally accountable for escaping from custody. Thus where, as in the present case, the accused had been convicted in a magistrates’ court of contravening s 117(1)(a) of the Correctional Services Act 111 of 1998, in that he had escaped from a child and youth care centre, the court held that a child and youth care centre was not a ‘correctional centre’ as intended by s 1 of the Correctional Services Act and that there was no other statutory provision criminalising the absconding from a child and youth care centre, and the conviction was replaced on review in terms of s 270 of the Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977 with a conviction of the common-law offence of escaping from custody.

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