Justice Project South Africa has a very specific mandate which dictates what we do as well as what we don’t do.
Because our primary objective is to represent the rights of all of our members in road traffic law legislative and law enforcement matters, we primarily focus on matters which affect our members as a collective. This involves various processes, amongst which are:
- Participating in the submission of comments and recommendation on proposed legislative amendments;
- Interacting with government departments and traffic authorities;
- Approaching, and directly tackling traffic authorities who do not comply with legislation and things like the TCSP guidelines;
- Keeping the public informed about what the law really says and correcting some of the misinformation spread by traffic officials; and
- Where appropriate, litigating against those entities which violate the rights and/or interests of our members.
Although the general public at large also benefits from actions we take, it is and always will be the interests of our members which we represent since without them, we would have little prospect of success in any of these matters.
In addition, we provide individualised services to our members, as well as the general public as large as follows:
- We offer a service called “priority assist” to our members where they are entitled to call a 24/7/365 dedicated number if they are stopped by law enforcement officers and need assistance;
- We also offer assistance with the authoring of AARTO representation and other forms as well as written representations to public prosecutors in terms of the Criminal Procedure Act;
- We have access to a panel of specialised traffic and criminal law attorneys we can refer our members and general members of the public to.
JPSA actively encourages its members to comply with road traffic legislation by educating them and regularly updating them with information to assist them to do so.
What we don’t do
JPSA is passionate about fighting for its members rights and protecting them from abuse but cannot and will not condone or defend any criminality our members engage in. It is very important that all members realise this up front and don’t engage in such behaviour.
JPSA also does not get involved in any matters which fall outside of its direct and specific core functions and we urge you not to ask us to do so.
How we achieve what we achieve
JPSA employs a number of tried and tested methodologies to achieve its objectives amongst which are:
- Active monitoring of proposed, draft amendments to road traffic law and submission of detailed inputs thereon;
- Active monitoring of the practices employed by authorities;
- Written and direct engagement with authorities on behalf of our members; and
- When all else fails, litigation in the High Court.
Although there are some who would like to create the impression that JPSA is deliberately confrontational and antagonistic towards authorities, we vehemently deny that this is so. We have excellent working relationships with many authorities and some of the individuals within those authorities and have managed to achieve a lot through negotiation and diplomacy.
If all else fails – litigate
It is unreasonable of anyone to believe that if all else fails, we will simply tuck our tail between our legs and go away. When diplomacy, asking nicely and demands fail, we have no choice but to approach the Courts and we do so unashamedly.
In 2011, prior to JPSA having the resources to approach the Courts, JPSA lodged a complaint against the JMPD with the Office of the Public Protector. In 2014, the Public Protector found in our favour and found the JMPD guilty of maladministration. This was of course, a major victory for JPSA, but it took a long time and could have been achieved in a Court of Law a lot quicker and without burdening the Public Protector with a matter on which the Courts should have ruled.
We now have the resources to approach the Courts but we never approach the Courts with trivial matters, nor do we do so unless we are as close to positive as anyone can be that any Application we bring has an extremely high prospect of success. Please see our current projects page for more details.