Source: (2008) Minnesota Journal of International Law. 17(1): 155-182.

In 1997, the South African Parliament enacted Section 51 of Criminal Law Amendment Act 105 of 1997 ("the Act") in an effort to remedy increasing crime rates, increase public satisfaction with the criminal justice system, and decrease sentencing disparities. ... The Committee's research indicated that general justifications for these nations' guideline and mandatory minimum sentencing regimes included the following: retribution, incapacitation, reducing disparity, and inducement of cooperation. ... Specifically seeking to deter violent crime and reduce sentencing disparity, the South African Parliament chose the mandatory minimum option and specified the reform in Section 51 of the Act, which went into effect on May 1, 1998. ... Plea bargaining, a mechanism added to the South African criminal justice system in 2001, also has the potential to thwart implementation of the Act's mandatory minimum sentencing provisions. ... While the legislative guidelines option takes harm and potential offender remorse - both restorative justice principles - into account, it does not make available restorative justice processes, such as the opportunity to reconcile relationships between the victim and the offender or the opportunity of the victim, the community, and the offender to participate in sentencing determination. (Author's abstract)