n Tydskrif vir die Suid-Afrikaanse Reg - The final word on the use of force during arrest : regspraak

Volume 2003, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 0257-7747
  • E-ISSN: 1996-2207



Section 49 of the Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977 (the act), authorises the use of force when carrying out an arrest. The section provides for two different scenarios: section 49(1) provides for those cases where the force applied in the suspect's apprehension did not bring about his death, whilst section 49(2) authorises the killing of a suspect who resists arrest or takes flight, provided that he has committed an offence listed in schedule 1 of the act or is reasonably suspected to have committed such an offence. In view of the serious inroads these provisions had on especially the right to life and the right to dignity, it is not surprising that both the highest courts in the land were, within a short period of time, called upon to pronounce on the constitutionality of these provisions.

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