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

Chapter 28 : Sentence

285. Periodical imprisonment


(1) A court convicting a person of any offence, other than an offence in respect of which any law prescribes a minimum punishment, may, in lieu of any other punishment, sentence such person to undergo in accordance with the laws relating to prisons, periodical imprisonment for a period of not less than one hundred hours and not more than two thousand hours.


(a) The court which imposes a sentence of periodical imprisonment upon any person shall cause to be served upon him a notice in writing directing him to surrender himself on a date and at a time specified in the notice or (if prevented from doing so by circumstances beyond his control) as soon as possible thereafter, to the officer in charge of a place so specified, whether within or outside the area of jurisdiction of the court, for the purpose of undergoing such imprisonment.
(b) The court which tries any person on a charge of contravening subsection (4)(a) shall, subject to subsection (5), cause a notice as contemplated in paragraph (a) to be served on that person.

[Section 285(2)(b) inserted by section 16 of Act No. 33 of 1986]


(3) A copy of the said notice shall serve as a warrant for the reception into custody of the convicted person by the said officer.


(4) Any person who—
(a) without lawful excuse, the proof whereof shall be on such person, fails to comply with a notice issued under subsection (2); or
(b) when surrendering himself for the purpose of undergoing periodical imprisonment, is under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs or the like; or
(c) impersonates or falsely represents himself to be a person who has been directed to surrender himself for the purpose of undergoing periodical imprisonment,

shall be guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to imprisonment for a period not exceeding three months.


(5) If, before the expiration of any sentence of periodical imprisonment imposed upon any person for any offence—
(a) is undergoing a punishment of any other form of detention imposed by any court; or
(b) after having surrendered himself or herself pursuant to the notice issued under subsection (2), without lawful excuse, the proof whereof shall be on that person, thereafter fails to surrender himself or herself for the purpose of undergoing periodical imprisonment, as required,

any magistrate before whom such person is brought, may set aside the unexpired portion of the sentence of periodical imprisonment and, after considering the evidence recorded in respect of the offence in question, may impose in lieu of any unexpired portion any punishment within the limits of his or her jurisdiction and of any punishment prescribed by any law as a punishment for the offence in question.

[Section 285(5) substituted by section 12(a) of Act No. 66 of 2008]


(6) Any magistrate may, if it appears from information on oath that a person who has been sentenced in terms of subsection (1) has failed to surrender himself or herself to undergo imprisonment as provided for in this section, issue a warrant for the arrest of that person in order to deal with him or her in terms of subsection (5)(b).

[Section 285(6) inserted by section 12(b) of Act No. 66 of 2008]