South Africa

The APT is active in South Africa since 2002 when it partnered with the South Africa Human Rights Commission (SAHRC)  and the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights in the organization of the historic Robben Island Workshop, which drafted the Robben Island Guidelines for the Prohibition and Prevention of Torture in Africa.

The APT has joined the efforts of national actors in the campaign for the domestication of the UNCAT and contributed to the draft “prevention and combating of torture Bill”, which was discussed in the Parliament on 21 November 2012. It is also carrying an advocacy campaign and providing technical support and advice to national actors for the ratification and implementation of the OPCAT through, inter alia, its longstanding cooperation with the South Africa Human Rights Commission. 

News on Prevention

African NHRIs designated as NPMs discuss their torture prevention mandate
November 9, 2017
President Zuma signs anti-torture legislation
July 30, 2013


Preventing Torture in Africa: Robben Island workshop proceedings (2003)
February 5, 2018
Preventing torture in Africa: Lessons and experiences from National Human Rights Institutions (2016)
February 5, 2018
Statement UPR South Africa (2012)
January 30, 2018
Truth Commissions: a comparative study (2003)
January 15, 2018
South Africa must do everything to prevent torture by the police (2013)
September 30, 2016

OPCAT Status

OPCAT Signature : September 20, 2006
UNCAT Ratification : July 10, 1998


Population : 44 187 637
Area (sq km) : 1 219 912
Number of prisons : 237
Prison population : Approx. 164 667
Torture Laws compilation