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

Volume 26, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 1011-8527
  • E-ISSN: 1996-2118



It is a trite fact that the power conferred by a warrant to search and thereafter, to seize that which is found, amounts to a material invasion of such common law protected rights as the rights to privacy, property and personal integrity ( 2005 (1) SACR 317 (SCA)). Because of the far-reaching implications of the injudicious exercise of this power, sections 20 and 21 of the Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977 (hereafter the CPA) authorises only judicial officers to issue search and seizure warrants, as they are considered to possess the qualities and skills necessary for the proper exercise of this power, such as independence and the ability to evaluate relevant information so as to make informed decisions ( 2011 (2) SACR 301 (CC) at para [38]).

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