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Companies Act, 2008 (Act No. 71 of 2008)

Chapter 7 : Remedies and Enforcement

Part E : Powers to support investigations and inspections

176. Summons

 

 

1) At any time during an investigation being conducted by it, the Commission, or the Panel, as the case may be, may issue a summons to any person who is believed to be able to furnish any information on the subject of the investigation, or to have possession or control of any book, document or other object that has a bearing on that subject to—
a) appear before the Commission or Panel, or before an inspector or independent investigator, to be questioned at a time and place specified in the summons; or
b) deliver or produce to the Commission or Panel, or to an inspector or independent investigator, any book, document or other object referred to in paragraph (a) at a time and place specified in the summons.

 

2) A summons contemplated in subsection (1)—
a) must be signed by the Commissioner or the Executive Director, as the case may be, or by an employee of the Commission or Panel designated by the Commissioner or the Executive Director, as the case may be; and
b) may be served in the same manner as a subpoena in a criminal case issued by the magistrate’s court.

 

3) An inspector or investigator before whom a person is summoned to appear, or to whom a person is required to deliver any book, document or other object, may—
a) interrogate and administer an oath to, or accept an affirmation from, the person named in the summons; and
b) retain any such book, document or other object for examination, for a period not exceeding two months, or such longer period as the court, on good cause shown, may allow.

 

4) A person questioned by the Commission, the Panel, or an inspector or independent investigator conducting an investigation must answer each question truthfully and to the best of that person’s ability, but—
a) a person is not obliged to answer any question if the answer is self-incriminating; and
b) the person asking the questions must inform that person of the right set out in paragraph (a).

 

5) No self-incriminating answer given or statement made by any person to the Commission, Panel, or an inspector or independent investigator exercising powers in terms of this Act will be admissible as evidence against that person in criminal proceedings against that person instituted in any court, except in criminal proceedings for perjury or in which that person is tried for an offence contemplated in section 215(2)(e), and then only to the extent that the answer or statement is relevant to prove the offence charged.