n Annual Survey of South African Law - Criminal procedure




This Act came into operation in respect of the magisterial district of Pietermaritzburg on 15 February 2011, and for the magisterial district of Highveld Ridge on 31 October 2011. It provides for the postponement of certain criminal proceedings against an accused person in custody awaiting trial to be conducted through audiovisual link (s 159A). This provision is applicable to accused persons over the age of 18 years, who are in custody in a correctional facility in respect of an offence, who have already appeared in court, and whose case has been postponed (in other words, accused persons in custody pending the trial), and are required to appear, or to be brought, before a court in subsequent proceedings. Such accused persons may, for the purpose of a further postponement of the case or consideration of release on bail in terms of sections 60, 63, 63A, 307, 308A or 321, where the granting of bail is not opposed by the prosecutor, or where the granting of bail does not require the leading of evidence, appear before the court by means of audiovisual link. The proceedings will be regarded as having been held in the presence of the accused person if the accused is held in custody in a correctional facility and is able to follow the court proceedings and the court is able to see and hear the accused person by means of audiovisual link. Thus, in terms of section 159A, it will be deemed that an accused person appearing by means of audiovisual link had appeared before a court for all intents and purposes.


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