n South African Journal of Criminal Justice - Law of evidence : recent cases

Volume 26, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1011-8527
  • E-ISSN: 1996-2118



In the case of 2012 (2) SACR 507 (FB), the appellant appealed against his conviction of the rape of a 9-year-old child. The complainant, and her 11-year-old friend, testified for the state. The appellant appealed against his conviction on two main grounds. Firstly, that the competence of the witnesses was not established, as they had not demonstrated that they understood the distinction between truth and lies. Secondly, that they had not been properly sworn in in terms of s 164 of the Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977, which provides that a child who is unable to understand the oath is not required to take the oath and will still be a competent witness as long as she is admonished to give truthful evidence.

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