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

Chapter 5 : Arrest

49. Use of force in effecting arrest


(1) For the purposes of this section—
(a) "arrestor" means any person authorised under this Act to arrest or to assist in arresting a suspect; and
(b) "suspect" means any person in respect of whom an arrestor has or had a reasonable suspicion that such person is committing or has committed an offence; and
(c) "deadly force" means force that is likely to cause serious bodily harm or death and includes, but is not limited to, shooting at a suspect with a firearm.


(2) If any arrestor attempts to arrest a suspect and the suspect resists the attempt, or flees, or resists the attempt and flees, when it is clear that an attempt to arrest him or her is being made, and the suspect cannot be arrested without the use of force, the arrestor may, in order to effect the arrest, use such force as may be reasonably necessary and proportional in the circumstances to overcome the resistance or to prevent the suspect from fleeing, but, in addition to the requirement that the force must be reasonably necessary and proportional in the circumstances, the arrestor may use deadly force only if—
(a) the suspect poses a threat of serious violence to the arrestor or any other person; or
(b) the suspect is suspected on reasonable grounds of having committed a crime involving the infliction or threatened infliction of serious bodily harm and there are no other reasonable means of effecting the arrest, whether at that time or later.


[Section 49 substituted  by section 1 of Act No. 9 of 2012]