McCarthy Attorneys Inc

2 Major New Laws That Every South African Needs To Know About


The bill focuses mostly on criminalising the theft and interference of data and has introduced some new laws surrounding any “malicious” electronic communication. The bill seeks to:

  • Create offences which have an adverse bearing on cybercrime;
  • Criminalise the distribution of data messages which are harmful and to provide for the interim protection orders;
  • Impose obligations to report cybercrimes;
  • Provide that the Executive may enter into agreements with foreign States to promote measures aimed at the detection, prevention, mitigation and investigation of cybercrimes amongst other matters.

Any person who contravenes one of the following provisions is liable, on conviction, to a fine or imprisonment for a period not exceeding three years, or to both a fine and imprisonment.

  • A message which incites damage to property or violence;
  • A message which threatens persons with damage to property or violence;
  • A message which unlawfully contains an intimate image.


The primary objective of the new bill is to increase the minimum age of criminal capacity of children from 10 years to 12 years and to remove the requirement to prove criminal capacity for purposes of diversion and preliminary enquiries.

A diversion program is a form of sentence in which the criminal offender joins a rehabilitation program, which will help remedy the behaviour leading to the original arrest and avoid conviction and a criminal record.

If you have any questions about the proposed new laws or any Land or Labour issues, contact McCarthy & Associates Attorneys on (033) 266 6170 or ad***@ma****.za