Public Prosecutor

Public prosecutors represent the Attorney General in criminal cases in a magistrate's or regional court. Each prosecutor has a delegation to prosecute in a specific magisterial district or regional division.


Public prosecutors study police dockets and often ask for additional police investigations to build up complete cases. On the basis of the evidence prosecutors decide if accused people may reasonably be charged and in terms of which laws or regulations this should be done. If it is decided to prosecute the accused, the prosecutor summons the accused and witnesses to appear in court.


Public prosecutors present cases to the courts, explaining and arguing all relevant evidence, whether against or in favour of the accused, to ensure that justice prevails. It is the job of public prosecutors to try to prove the alleged transgression beyond reasonable doubt.


Public prosecutors' work is done mostly in court and in the office where research is done on a case. Prosecutors may sometimes accompany witnesses to crime scenes to get more information about cases. They also have to do administrative work and have to write reports to the Attorney General and keep records of cases dealt with.


Employment

Department of Justice


Once public prosecutors have acquired experience in district courts, they may become regional court prosecutors where serious cases are handled, such as murder, rape, fraud, robbery and culpable homicide.


Public prosecutors with LLB degrees can transfer to the office of the Attorney General where they will prosecute cases, mostly in High Court, as state advocates.


Getting Started


  • try to obtain vacation or part-time work in a court environment or police station

  • obtain as much experience as possible, working with different people, e.g. at a community centre

  • arrange to speak to a public prosecutor about this type of career


Programmes

Kenyatta University, Moi University, Namibia University of Science and Technology, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, North-West University, University of Cape Town, University of Johannesburg, University of Namibia, University of Stellenbosch


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