n South African Journal of Criminal Justice - Criminal procedure : recent cases

Volume 21, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 1011-8527
  • E-ISSN: 1996-2118



A number of interesting points for comment arise from this. The first is that, from the small portion of the trial record produced in the judgment of Pickering J it is quite clear that the magistrate was hopelessly incompetent and did not have a clue as to how to go about conducting a trial. It is disturbing to note that someone of such low calibre can attain the rank and status of a magistrate. Secondly, the accused were undefended and hence required the assistance of the magistrate in conducting their defences. This was not done and instead the magistrate attempted to trap the accused by drawing an adverse inference when they came to testify that they were raising alibi defences for the first time.

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