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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

179. Conduct of entry and search

 

 

1) A person who enters and searches any premises under section 178 must conduct the entry and search with strict regard for decency and order, and with regard for each person’s right to dignity, freedom, security and privacy.

 

2) During any search under section 178(1)(c), only a female inspector or police officer may search a female person, and only a male inspector or police officer may search a male person.

 

3) A person who enters and searches premises under section 178, before questioning anyone—
a) must advise that person of the right to be assisted at the time by an advocate or attorney; and
b) allow that person to exercise the right contemplated in paragraph (a).

 

4) A person who removes anything from premises being searched must—
a) issue a receipt for it to the owner of, or person in control of, the premises; and
b) return it as soon as practicable after achieving the purpose for which it was removed.

 

5) During a search, a person may refuse to permit the inspection or removal of an article or document on the grounds that it contains privileged information.

 

6) If the owner or person in control of an article or document refuses in terms of subsection (5) to give that article or document to the person conducting the search, the person conducting the search may request the registrar or sheriff of the High Court that has jurisdiction to attach and remove the article or document for safe custody until that court determines whether or not the information is privileged.

 

7) A police officer who is authorised to enter and search premises under section 177, or who is assisting an inspector who is authorised to enter and search premises under section 178 may overcome resistance to the entry and search by using as much force as is reasonably required, including breaking a door or window of the premises.

 

8) Before using force in terms of subsection (7), a police officer must audibly demand admission and must announce the purpose of the entry, unless it is reasonable to believe that doing so may induce someone to destroy or dispose of an article or document that is the object of the search.

 

9) The Commission may compensate anyone who suffers damage because of a forced entry during a search when no one responsible for the premises was present.