Related Rule
South Africa
Practice Relating to Rule 80. Booby-Traps
South Africa’s LOAC Manual (1996) does not prohibit booby-traps as such. It does, however, state that the main concern is whether indiscriminate use endangers the civilian population. When employing booby-traps, it says, the military must therefore consider what or who is the likely target. 
South Africa, Presentation on the South African Approach to International Humanitarian Law, Appendix A, Chapter 4: International Humanitarian Law (The Law of Armed Conflict), National Defence Force, 1996, Article 34(f)(iv).
South Africa’s Revised Civic Education Manual (2004) states:
Prohibited Weapons. The following weapons have been prohibited:
(5) … Booby Traps. … Booby Traps may only be used when placed in close proximity to military objects; their exact location is recorded, warning signs posted and when the tactical situation demands them. Booby Traps, which are attached or associated with any internationally recognised protective symbol, sign or signal, the sick, wounded or dead persons, burial or cremation sites, medical facilities, medical equipment or supplies or medical transport, children’s toys or articles associated with children, food and drink, kitchen utensils or appliances (except in military establishments), religious objects, historic monuments, works of art or places of worship and animals or their carcasses (Protocol accepted in 1980). 
South Africa, Revised Civic Education Manual, South African National Defence Force, 2004, Chapter 4, § 56(f)(i); see also § 56(f)(iv) (on the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons).
South Africa’s LOAC Teaching Manual (2008) states:
3. Means and Methods of Warfare
Several specific weapons are governed by specific treaties. These treaties establish two categories of weapons, to wit[:]
- Weapons of which the use is totally prohibited; and
- Weapons of which the use is permitted under certain conditions.
Weapons of which the Use is Totally Prohibited
- Booby-Traps (Geneva Protocol II [on] the Use of Mines, Booby-traps and Other Devices dated 10 October 1980.) The use of the following types of booby-traps are prohibited:
- Any booby-traps in the form of an apparent harmless portable object which is specifically designed and constructed to contain explosive material and to detonate when it is disturbed or approached;
- Any booby-traps which are designed to cause superfluous injury or unnecessary suffering; or
- Booby-traps which are in any way attached or associated with the following persons or objects[:]
- Internationally recognised protective emblems, signs or signals;
- Sick, wounded or dead persons;
- Burial or cremation sites or graves;
- Medical facilities, medical equipment, medical supplies or medical transportation;
- Children’s toys or other portable objects or products specially designed for the feeding, health, hygiene, clothing or education of children;
- Food or drink;
- Kitchen utensils or appliances, except in military establishments, locations or supply depots;
- Objects clearly of a religious nature;
- Historic monuments, works of art, or places of worship which constitute the cultural or spiritual heritage of peoples; and
- Animals or their carcasses.
Weapons of which the use is Permitted under Certain Conditions:
- Land Mines and Similar Devices (Geneva Protocol II [on] the Use of Mines, Booby-traps and Other Devices dated 10 October 1980)
- Definitions (Geneva Protocol II [on] the Use of Mines[,] Booby-traps and Other Devices dated 10 October 1980 Article 2)
- “Booby-trap” means any device or material which is designed, constructed or adapted to kill or injure and which functions unexpectedly when a person disturbs or approaches an apparently harmless object or performs an apparently safe act.[.]
- Conditions for Permitted Use
- Mines (not Remotely Delivered), Booby Traps, and Other Devices (Geneva Protocol II on the Use of Mines, Booby-traps and Other Devices dated 10 October 1980 Article 4).
- Mines and other than remotely delivered booby-traps and other devices may be used in populated areas
- When they are placed on or in the close vicinity of a military objective belonging to or under control of the enemy; and
- When measures are taken to protect civilian persons (e.g. Warning signs, sentries, issue of warnings, provision of fences, etc). 
South Africa, Advanced Law of Armed Conflict Teaching Manual, School of Military Justice, 1 April 2008, as amended to 25 October 2013, Learning Unit 3, pp. 175–177.
South Africa’s Prohibition or Restriction of Certain Conventional Weapons Act (2008) states:
Mines, booby traps or other devices
6. (1) No person may use or direct any mine, booby-trap or other device –
(a) which is designed or of a nature to cause superfluous injury or unnecessary suffering;
(b) which employs a mechanism or device specifically designed to detonate the munition by the presence of commonly available mine detectors as a result of their magnetic or other non-contact influence during normal use in detection operations[;]
(c) in any city, town, village or other area containing a similar concentration of civilians in which combat between ground forces is not taking place or does not appear to be imminent, unless either –
(i) such mine, booby-trap or other device is placed on or directed against a military objective; or
(ii) measures are taken to protect civilians from their effects;
(d) either in offence, defence or by way of reprisals, against the civilian population or against individual civilians or civilian objects;
(e) in an indiscriminate manner –
(i) which is not on or directed against a military objective, and in case of doubt as to whether an object which is normally dedicated to civilian purposes, such as a place of worship, a house or other dwelling or a school, is being used to make an effective contribution to military action, it shall be presumed not to be [so] used; or
(ii) which employs a method or means of delivery which cannot be directed at a specific military objective; or
(iii) which may be expected to cause incidental loss of civilian life, injury to civilians, damage to civilian objects, or a combination thereof, which would be excessive in relation to the concrete and direct military advantage anticipated.
(2) No person may use booby-traps or other devices –
(a) which are in any way attached to or associated with –
(i) internationally recognised protective emblems, signs or signals;
(ii) sick, wounded or dead persons;
(iii) burial or cremation sites or graves;
(iv) medical facilities, medical equipment, medical supplies or medical transportation;
(v) children’s toys or other portable objects or products specially designed for the feeding, health, hygiene, clothing or education of children;
(vi) food or drink;
(vii) kitchen utensils or appliances, except in military establishments[,] military locations or military supply depots;
(viii) objects of a religious nature;
(ix) historic monuments, works of art or places of worship which constitute the cultural or spiritual heritage of peoples; or
(x) animals or their carcasses;
(b) in the form of apparently harmless portable objects which are specifically designed and constructed to contain explosive material. 
South Africa, Prohibition or Restriction of Certain Conventional Weapons Act, 2008, Section 6(1)–(2).
The Act defines a “booby-trap” as “any device or material which is designed, constructed or adapted to kill or injure and which functions unexpectedly when a person disturbs or approaches an apparently harmless object or performs an apparently safe act”. 
South Africa, Prohibition or Restriction of Certain Conventional Weapons Act, 2008, Section 1.
Upon acceptance of the 1996 Amended Protocol II to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons, South Africa stated: “[T]he provisions of the amended Protocol which by their contents or nature may be applied also in peacetime, shall be observed at all times.” 
South Africa, Declaration made upon acceptance of Amended Protocol II to the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons, 26 June 1998.