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

Volume 24, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 1011-8527
  • E-ISSN: 1996-2118



In terms of s 20 of the Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977 the state may seize certain articles for the purpose of obtaining evidence for the institution of a prosecution or deliberating whether to institute a prosecution. Almost anything and everything may be seized in terms of s 20, provided that the item seized falls into one of the following three broad groups: (1) it is concerned with or reasonably suspected to be concerned with the commission of an offence in South Africa or elsewhere; (2) it may provide evidence of the commission of an offence in South Africa or elsewhere; or (3) it is intended to be used or is reasonably believed to be intended for use in the commission of an offence. The broad ambit of s 20 is clearly intended to assist the police in their investigations of criminal cases.

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