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

Volume 27, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 1011-8527
  • E-ISSN: 1996-2118



The South African law in respect of the admissibility of admissions and confessions by accused persons against their co-accused is based on the English common-law position, which states that '[w]here several persons are accused of an offence, and one of them makes a confession or an ad'; and that 'statements which are not made in pursuance of the common design are evidence only against the makers' ( 4ed (1990) vol 11(2) para 1131). An overview of South African common law (as discussed in 1942 AD 213 at 218; 1960 (3) SA 535 (A) at 542C-E; 1990 (3) SA 466 (B) at 506; 2008 (2) SACR 76 (CC) at para [33]) indicates that admissions by one accused against a co-accused are inadmissible. Furthermore section 219 of the Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977 specifically states that a confession by an accused would not be admissible evidence against another accused person. Section 219A states that '[e]vidence of any admission made extra-judicially by any person in relation to the commission of an offence shall ... be admissible in evidence against him' (that is the maker of the admission). However, in 2002 the case of [2002] 3 All SA 760 (SCA) brought a dramatic change.

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


Article metrics loading...


This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error