Terrorism is the most dangerous and threatening actions to the society. The significance of this issue began being felt in the world at the beginning of this century. Being prevalent worldwide problem, counter-terrorism measures are not only reasonable, they are essential.
The stable increase in the number of terrorist acts is a major drawback to the countries’ development and the lives of thousand innocent people.Although it is considered that South Africa is a kind of the motherland of the terrorists, there are dozens of citizens of SA, suffering from the terrorism. It is known that at least 50 South Africans have been murdered, kidnapped or injured by terrorist groups operating in Mali, Yemen, Somalia, Nigeria, Syria and Iraq since 2010. South Africa is considered to be a hot point of terrorist attacks, so the government of the country has adopted an approach to the fight against terrorism, protecting and promoting the human rights.Faced with the dramatic increase of violence in the Western Cape, in 1999, the South African Police Service (SAPS) – on request from the Minister of Safety and Security – conducted a research on terrorism and internal security and drafted an Anti-Terrorism Bill which was submitted to the South African Law Commission’s (SALC) project committee on security legislation.After the attack on World Trade Center of September 11, 2001, several states, including South Africa, have introduced new anti-terrorism legislation.
After a long and controversial drafting process, the South African Parliament has finally approved the country’s draft anti-terrorism law on November 12, 2004, which was adopted by National Assembly and came into force on May 20, 2005.During the public hearings of the National Assembly’s Portfolio Committee on Safety and Security, then chairperson Muleleki George explained that the legislation was necessary to meet the country’s legal obligations in terms of the ratified terrorism conventions.The South African Law Commission undertook to align security legislations such as The Interception and Monitoring Act (IMA) and the Explosives Act (EA) with international obligations of South Africa to counter terrorism. South African authorities have successfully disrupted several planned attacks and made a number of arrests related to terrorism offenses including alleged plots to attack Jewish targets and western diplomatic missions. South African authorities have also been effective against right-wing extremists.Despite the fact that South Africa’s anti-terrorism legislation approved considerably during its drafting process, the constitutionality of a number of provisions is still in doubt.
In the eyes of many the law poses a threat to constitutionally guaranteed fundamental rights and freedoms to which everyone is entitled and which the state is obliged to respect, protect, promote and fulfill.