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

Volume 21, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 1011-8527
  • E-ISSN: 1996-2118



The crucial fact in this issue was the status of accomplice 'S' - who was not an accused in the case. He had been charged separately, convicted and sentenced at the time of the appellants' trial. The Court held that he was thus not an accused in the trial and that s 197(b) of the Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977 had no application. Accordingly, the trial court had been correct to stop the defence's cross-examination at the point it did. The Court held that even if it was wrong on this point, the irregularity was not sufficiently serious as to vitiate the trial, and that the cautionary rule applicable to accomplices had been properly applied. The conviction was thus upheld.

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