Report No. 198
(e) South Africa:
In South Africa, section 153 of the Criminal Procedure Code permits in camera proceedings at the discretion of the Court and section 154 permits prohibition of publication of certain information relating to criminal proceedings. The South African Law Commission has published Discussion Paper 90 (2000) Project 101 which deals with these aspects.
The right of cross-examination is basic in South Africa but the Courts are of the view that it is not absolute either under the common law or statute law. In S v. Leepile: 1986 (4) SA 187 (W), the Court permitted witnesses to give evidence from behind closed doors. In S v. Pastoors 1986 (4) SA 222 (W), the Court allowed witness identity to be kept confidential as there was a 'real risk'. In the absence of a statute, obviously such orders were being granted under 'inherent power' of the Courts.