oa De Rebus - To shoot or not to shoot
Section 49 of the Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977 (the Act), may in the South African context be traced back to s 1 of Ordinance 2 of 1837 (Cape), s 44 of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act 31 of 1917 and the subsequent s 37 of the Criminal Procedure Act 56 of 1955 (see Milton Gedenkbundel HL Swanepoel (1976) 140 and Matlou v Makhubedu 1978 (1) SA 946 (A) 953-956). Predictions that the development of our law in this regard has not yet reached its full conclusion were proved correct with the signing and publication of the Judicial Matters Second Amendment Act 122 of 1998 (published in GG 19590/11-12-1998). The Amendment Act - whose date of inception must still be set and proclaimed by the President - holds promises to alter the law in this field irrevocably. In this article a brief look will be taken at the existing position, the reasons for the further development as envisaged in the Amendment Act and its possible consequences.
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