Criminal Procedure Act, 1977 (Act No. 51 of 1977)

Chapter 24 : Evidence

217. Admissibility of confession by accused

Purchase cart Previous page Return to chapter overview Next page

 

 

1)Evidence of any confession made by any person in relation to the commission of any offence shall, if such confession is proved to have been freely and voluntarily made by such person in his sound and sober senses and without having been unduly influenced thereto, be admissible in evidence against such person at criminal proceedings relating to such offence: Provided—

a)that a confession made to a peace officer, other than a magistrate or justice or, in the case of a peace officer referred to in section 334, a confession made to such peace officer which relates to an offence with reference to which such peace officer is authorised to exercise any power conferred upon him under that section, shall not be admissible in evidence unless confirmed and reduced to writing in the presence of a magistrate or justice; and

b)that where the confession is made to a magistrate and reduced to writing by him, or is confirmed and reduced to writing in the presence of a magistrate, the confession shall, upon the mere production thereof at the proceedings in question—

i)be admissible in the evidence against such person if it appears from the document in which the confession is contained that the confession was made by a person whose name corresponds to that of such person and, in the case of a confession made to a magistrate or confirmed in the presence of a magistrate through an interpreter, if a certificate by the interpreter appears on such documents to the effect that he interpreted truly and correctly and to the best of his ability with regard to the contents of the confession and any question put to such person by the magistrate; and

ii)be presumed, unless the contrary is proved, to have been freely and voluntarily made by such person in his sound and sober senses and without having been unduly influenced thereto, if it appears from the document in which the confession is contained that the confession was made freely and voluntarily by such person in his sound and sober senses and without having been unduly influenced thereto.

 

2)The prosecution may lead evidence in rebuttal of evidence adduced by an accused in rebuttal of the presumption under proviso (b) to subsection (1).

 

3)Any confession which is under subsection (1) inadmissible in evidence against the person who made it, shall become admissible against him—

a)if he adduces in the relevant proceedings any evidence, either directly or in cross-examining any witness, of any oral or written statement made by him either as part of or in connection with such confession; and

b)if such evidence is, in the opinion of the judge or the judicial officer presiding at such proceedings, favourable to such person.