Practice Relating to Rule 152. Command Responsibility for Orders to Commit War Crimes
South Africa’s LOAC Manual (1996) provides: “Signatory States are required to treat as criminals under domestic law anyone who commits or orders a grave breach.”
The manual further states: “An order to commit a war crime is an unlawful order … The person giving such an order would also be guilty of a war crime.”
South Africa’s Prevention and Combating of Torture of Persons Act (2013) states:
Offences and penalties
4. (1) Any person who –
(c) incites, instigates, commands or procures any person to commit torture,
is guilty of the offence of torture and is on conviction liable to imprisonment, including imprisonment for life.
(4) No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, including but not limited to, a state of war, threat of war, internal political instability, national security or any state of emergency may be invoked as a justification for torture.