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

Chapter 29 : Compensation and Restitution

300. Court may award compensation where offence causes damage to or loss of property


(1) Where a person is convicted by a superior court, a regional court or a magistrate's court of an offence which has caused damage to or loss of property (including money) belonging to some other person, the court in question may, upon the application of the injured person or of the prosecutor acting on the instructions of the injured person, forthwith award the injured person compensation for such damage or loss: Provided that—
(a) a regional court or a magistrate’s court shall not make any such award if the compensation applied for exceeds the amount determined by the Minister from time to time by notice in the Gazette in respect of the respective courts.

[Section 300(1)(a) substituted by section 14 of Act No. 5 of 1991]

(b) [Section 300(1)(b) deleted by section 12 of Act No. 26 of 1987]


(2) For the purposes of determining the amount of the compensation or the liability of the convicted person therefor, the court may refer to the evidence and the proceedings at the trial or hear further evidence either upon affidavit or orally.


(a) An award made under this section—
(i) by a magistrate’s court, shall have the effect of a civil judgment of that court;
(ii) by a regional court, shall have the effect of a civil judgment of the magistrate’s court of the district in which the relevant trial took place.
(b) Where a superior court makes an award under this section, the registrar of the court shall forward a certified copy of the award to the clerk of the magistrate’s court designated by the presiding judge or, if no such court is designated, to the clerk of the magistrate’s court in whose area of jurisdiction the offence in question was committed, and thereupon such award shall have the effect of a civil judgment of that magistrate’s court.


(4) Where money of the person convicted is taken from him upon his arrest, the court may order that payment be made forthwith from such money in satisfaction or on account of the award.


(a) A person in whose favour an award has been made under this section may within sixty days after the date on which the award was made, in writing renounce the award by lodging with the registrar or clerk of the court in question a document of renunciation and, where applicable, by making a repayment of any moneys paid under subsection (4).
(b) Where the person concerned does not renounce an award under paragraph (a) within the period of sixty days, no person against whom the award was made shall be liable at the suit of the person concerned to any other civil proceedings in respect of the injury for which the award was made.