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

Chapter 7 : Written Notice to appear in Court

56. Written notice as method of securing attendance of accused in magistrate's court


(1) If an accused is alleged to have committed an offence and a peace officer on reasonable grounds believes that a magistrate's court, on convicting such accused of that offence, will not impose a fine exceeding the amount determined by the Minister from time to time by notice in the Gazette, such peace officer may, whether or not the accused is in custody, hand to the accused a written notice which shall—
(a) specify the name, the residential address and the occupation or status of the accused;
(b) call upon the accused to appear at a place and on a date and at a time specified in the written notice to answer a charge of having committed the offence in question;
(c) contain an endorsement in terms of section 57 that the accused may admit his guilt in respect of the offence in question and that he may pay a stipulated fine in respect thereof without appearing in court; and
(d) contain a certificate under the hand of the peace officer that he has handed the original of such written notice to the accused and that he has explained to the accused the import thereof.

[Section 56(1) substituted by section 5 of Act No. 5 of 1991]


(2) If the accused is in custody, the effect of a written notice handed to him under subsection (1) shall be that he be released forthwith from custody.


(3) The peace officer shall forthwith forward a duplicate original of the written notice to the clerk of the court which has jurisdiction.


(4) The mere production to the court of the duplicate original referred to in subsection (2) shall be prima facie proof of the issue of the original thereof to the accused and that such original was handed to the accused.


(5) The provisions of section 55 shall mutatis mutandis apply with reference to a written notice handed to an accused under subsection (1).