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The magistrates' courts are the lowest level of the court system in
South Africa South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. With over Demographics of South Africa, 59 million people, it is the world's List of countries by population, 23rd-most populous nation a ...
. They are the courts of first instance for most criminal cases except for the most serious crimes, and for civil cases where the value of the claim is below a fixed monetary limit.


Divisions and districts

South Africa is divided into magisterial districts, each of which is served by a district magistrate's court and in some cases also branch courts or periodical courts. Districts are grouped together into regional divisions served by a regional court, which hears more serious cases. At present there is one regional division established for each
province A province is almost always an administrative division within a country or state. The term derives from the ancient Roman '' provincia'', which was the major territorial and administrative unit of the Roman Empire's territorial possessions outs ...
, and the regional court sits at multiple locations throughout the province. there were 384 districts (and thus 384 district courts), 18 subdistricts with detached courts, 79 branch courts and 235 periodical courts. There were 1,914 magistrates including 351 regional court magistrates.


Jurisdiction

In criminal matters a district court has jurisdiction over all offences except
treason Treason is the crime of attacking a Sovereign state, state authority to which one owes allegiance. This typically includes acts such as participating in a war against one's native country, attempting to Coup d'etat, overthrow its government, Esp ...
,
murder Murder is the unlawful killing of another human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species of primates, characterized by bipedality, opposable thumbs, hairlessness, and intelligence allowing the use of culture ...
and
rape Rape is a type of sexual assault usually involving sexual intercourse or other forms of sexual penetration carried out against a person without that person's consent. The act may be carried out by physical force, coercion, Abusive power and co ...
, and a regional court has jurisdiction over all offences except treason. A district court can impose a fine of not more than R120,000 or a prison sentence of not more than three years, while a regional court can impose a fine of not more than R600,000 or a prison sentence of not more than 15 years, except that for certain offences a regional court can also impose a life sentence. In civil matters a district court has jurisdiction where the value of the claim is R200,000 or less, while a regional court has jurisdiction where the value of the claim is between R200,000 and R400,000. A regional court also has jurisdiction over
divorce Divorce also known as dissolution of marriage, is the process of terminating a marriage in Stockholm Marriage, also called matrimony or wedlock, is a culturally recognised union between people, called spouses, that establishes r ...
and related
family law Family law (also called matrimonial law or the ''law of domestic relations'') is an area of the law Law is a system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a u ...
matters. Cases in which no magistrate's court has jurisdiction must be brought before the
High Court High court usually refers to the superior court In common law systems, a superior court is a court A court is any person or institution, often as a government institution, with the authority to Adjudication, adjudicate legal disputes between ...
, which has the inherent jurisdiction to hear any case. The High Court also hears appeals from the magistrates' courts, and cases in which the constitutionality of any law or conduct of the President is brought into question.


List of magistrates' courts

The following towns are seats of magistracy, hosting a district magistrate's court or a detached court of a subdistrict. Regional courts for criminal cases may sit at any of these locations, but regional courts for civil cases sit only at those highlighted in bold text.


Eastern Cape

*
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*
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*
Alexandria ) , name = Alexandria ( or ; ar, الإسكندرية ; arz, اسكندرية ; Coptic language, Coptic: Rakodī; el, Αλεξάνδρεια ''Alexandria'') is the List of cities and towns in Egypt, third-la ...
* Alice * Aliwal North *
Barkly East Barkly East is a town in Eastern Cape Province, South Africa South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. With over Demographics of South Africa, 59 million people, it is the world ...
* Bedford, Eastern Cape, Bedford * Bizana, Eastern Cape, Bizana * Burgersdorp * Butterworth, Eastern Cape, Butterworth * Cala, Eastern Cape, Cala * Cathcart, Eastern Cape, Cathcart * Kentani, Centane * Cofimvaba * Cradock, Eastern Cape, Cradock * Dordrecht, Eastern Cape, Dordrecht * Dutywa * East London, Eastern Cape, East London * Elliot, Eastern Cape, Elliot * Elliotdale * Flagstaff, Eastern Cape, Flagstaff * Fort Beaufort * Graaff-Reinet * Grahamstown * Hankey * Hofmeyr * Humansdorp * Indwe * Jansenville * Joubertina * Keiskammahoek * King William's Town * Kirkwood, Eastern Cape, Kirkwood * Komga * Lady Frere * Lady Grey, Eastern Cape, Lady Grey * Libode * Lusikisiki * Maclear, Eastern Cape, Maclear * Maloti, Eastern Cape, Maloti * Mdantsane * Middelburg, Eastern Cape, Middelburg * Middledrift * Molteno, Eastern Cape, Molteno * Motherwell, Eastern Cape, Motherwell * Mount Ayliff * Mount Fletcher * Mount Frere * Mqanduli * Mthatha * Ngcobo * Nqamakwe, Ngqamakhwe * Ngqeleni * Ntabathemba * Pearston * Peddie, Eastern Cape, Peddie * Port Alfred * Port Elizabeth * Port St. Johns * Queenstown, Eastern Cape, Queenstown * Qumbu * Seymour, Eastern Cape, Seymour * Somerset East * Sterkspruit * Sterkstroom * Steynsburg * Steytlerville * Stutterheim * Tabankulu * Tarkastad * Tsolo * Tsomo * Uitenhage * Venterstad * Whittlesea, Eastern Cape, Whittlesea * Willowmore * Willowvale, Eastern Cape, Willowvale * Zwelitsha


Free State

* Bethlehem, Free State, Bethlehem * Bethulie * Bloemfontein * Boshof * Bothaville * Botshabelo * Brandfort * Bultfontein * Clocolan * Dewetsdorp * Edenburg * Excelsior, Free State, Excelsior * Fauresmith * Ficksburg * Fouriesburg * Frankfort, Free State, Frankfort * Harrismith * Heilbron * Hennenman * Hoopstad * Jacobsdal * Jagersfontein * Koffiefontein * Koppies * Kroonstad * Ladybrand * Lindley, Free State, Lindley * Makwane * Marquard * Odendaalsrus * Parys * Petrusburg * Philippolis * Phuthaditjhaba * Reddersburg * Reitz, Free State, Reitz * Rouxville * Sasolburg * Senekal * Smithfield, Free State, Smithfield * Thaba Nchu * Theunissen * Trompsburg * Tseki * Tsheseng * Ventersburg * Viljoenskroon * Villiers, Free State, Villiers * Virginia, Free State, Virginia * Vrede * Vredefort * Welkom * Wepener * Wesselsbron * Winburg * Zastron


Gauteng

* Alberton, Gauteng, Alberton * Alexandra, Gauteng, Alexandra * Benoni, Gauteng, Benoni * Boksburg * Brakpan * Bronkhorstspruit * Cullinan, Gauteng, Cullinan * Daveyton *Edenvale, Gauteng, Edenvale * Ekangala * Germiston * Heidelberg, Gauteng, Heidelberg * Johannesburg * Kempton Park, Gauteng, Kempton Park * Krugersdorp * Mamelodi * Meadowlands, Gauteng, Meadowlands * Nigel, Gauteng, Nigel * Carletonville, Oberholzer * Pretoria * Pretoria North * Randburg * Randfontein * Roodepoort * Soshanguve * Springs, Gauteng, Springs * Tembisa * Vanderbijlpark * Vereeniging * Westonaria


KwaZulu-Natal

* Babanango * Bergville * Camperdown, KwaZulu-Natal, Camperdown * Chatsworth, Durban, Chatsworth * Dannhauser * Dundee, KwaZulu-Natal, Dundee * Durban * Umlazi, Emlazi * Empangeni * Eshowe * Estcourt * Glencoe, KwaZulu-Natal, Glencoe * Greytown, KwaZulu-Natal, Greytown * Harding, KwaZulu-Natal, Harding * Himeville * Bulwer, KwaZulu-Natal, Hlanganani * Howick, KwaZulu-Natal, Howick * Impendle * Ingwavuma * Ixopo * Kokstad, KwaZulu-Natal, Kokstad * Kranskop * KwaDukuza * Ladysmith, KwaZulu-Natal, Ladysmith * Louwsburg * Madadeni * Mahlabatini * Mapumulo * Melmoth, KwaZulu-Natal, Melmoth * Mooi River (town), Mooi River * Tugela Ferry, Msinga * Mtubatuba * Mtunzini * Ndwedwe * New Hanover, KwaZulu-Natal, New Hanover * Newcastle, KwaZulu-Natal, Newcastle * Nkandla, KwaZulu-Natal, Nkandla * Nongoma * Nqutu * Ntuzuma * Paulpietersburg * Pietermaritzburg * Pinetown, KwaZulu-Natal, Pinetown * Pongola, KwaZulu-Natal, Pongola * Port Shepstone * Richmond, KwaZulu-Natal, Richmond * Scottburgh * Ubombo * Umbumbulu * Umzimkulu * Utrecht, KwaZulu-Natal, Utrecht * Verulam, KwaZulu-Natal, Verulam * Vryheid * Weenen


Limpopo

* Bela-Bela * Dzanani * Ga-Kgapane * Giyani * Groblersdal * Lebowakgomo * Lenyenye * Lephalale * Louis Trichardt * Lulekani * Mahwereleng * Malamulele * Mankweng * Modimolle * Mokopane * Morebeng * Musina * Mutale * Namakgale * Nebo, Limpopo, Nebo * Nkowankowa * Northam, Limpopo, Northam * Phalaborwa * Phalala * Polokwane * Praktiseer * Sekhukhune, Limpopo, Sekhukhune * Senwabarwana * Seshego * Thabazimbi * Thohoyandou * Tiyani * Tshilwavhusiku * Tshitale * Tzaneen * Vuwani * Waterval


Mpumalanga

* Amersfoort, Mpumalanga, Amersfoort * Balfour, Mpumalanga, Balfour * Barberton, Mpumalanga, Barberton * Bethal * Bushbuckridge * Carolina, Mpumalanga, Carolina * Delmas, Mpumalanga, Delmas * Eerstehoek * Belfast, Mpumalanga, eMakhazeni * eMalahleni * Waterval Boven, Emgwenya * Ermelo, Mpumalanga, Ermelo * Evander, Mpumalanga, Evander * Kriel, Mpumalanga, Ga-Nala * Kabokweni * KwaMhlanga * Mashishing * Mbibana * Mbombela * Mdutjana * Middelburg, Mpumalanga, Middelburg * Mkobola * Moutse * Piet Retief, Mpumalanga, Piet Retief * Sabie * Standerton * Thulamahashe * Tonga, Mpumalanga, Tonga * Volksrust * Wakkerstroom * White River, Mpumalanga, White River


North West

* Bloemhof * Brits, North West, Brits * Christiana, North West, Christiana * Coligny, North West, Coligny * Delareyville * Ganyesa * Ga-Rankuwa * Itsoseng * Klerksdorp * Koster, North West, Koster * Lehurutshe * Lichtenburg, North West, Lichtenburg * Madikwe * Mmabatho * Mogwase * Mothibistad * Phokeng * Potchefstroom * Rustenburg * Schweizer-Reneke * Swartruggens * Taung * Temba, North West, Temba * Ventersdorp * Vryburg * Wolmaransstad * Zeerust


Northern Cape

* Barkly West * Britstown * Calvinia * Carnarvon, Northern Cape, Carnarvon * Colesberg * De Aar * Douglas, Northern Cape, Douglas * Fraserburg * Griekwastad * Groblershoop * Hanover, Northern Cape, Hanover * Hartswater * Hopetown * Jan Kempdorp * Kakamas * Kathu * Keimoes * Kenhardt * Kimberley, Northern Cape, Kimberley * Kuruman * Noupoort * Philipstown, Northern Cape, Philipstown * Pofadder, Northern Cape, Pofadder * Postmasburg * Prieska * Richmond, Northern Cape, Richmond * Springbok, Northern Cape, Springbok * Sutherland, Northern Cape, Sutherland * Upington * Victoria West * Warrenton, Northern Cape, Warrenton * Williston, Northern Cape, Williston


Western Cape

* Atlantis, Western Cape, Atlantis * Beaufort West * Bellville, Western Cape, Bellville * Bredasdorp * Caledon, Western Cape, Caledon * Calitzdorp * Cape Town * Ceres, Western Cape, Ceres * Clanwilliam, Western Cape, Clanwilliam * George, Western Cape, George * Goodwood, Cape Town, Goodwood * Heidelberg, Western Cape, Heidelberg * Hermanus * Hopefield, Western Cape, Hopefield * Khayelitsha * Knysna * Kuils River * Ladismith * Laingsburg, Western Cape, Laingsburg * Malmesbury, Western Cape, Malmesbury * Mitchell's Plain * Montagu, Western Cape, Montagu * Moorreesburg * Mossel Bay * Murraysburg * Oudtshoorn * Paarl * Piketberg * Prince Albert, Western Cape, Prince Albert * Riversdale, Western Cape, Riversdale * Robertson, Western Cape, Robertson * Simon's Town * Somerset West * Stellenbosch * Strand, Western Cape, Strand * Swellendam * Tulbagh * Uniondale, Western Cape, Uniondale * Vanrhynsdorp * Vredenburg * Vredendal * Wellington, Western Cape, Wellington * Worcester, Western Cape, Worcester * Wynberg, Cape Town, Wynberg


See also

* Courts of South Africa


References

{{Courts of South Africa Courts of South Africa