Sacr 303 Case Study

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No I disagree with the statement this case is similar to S v Hammond 2004 (2) SACR 303 (SCA). Section 208 of the Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977 provides that an accused may be convicted of any offence on the single evidence of any competent witness such evidence must be clear and satisfactory in every material respect. The trial court should weigh the evidence of the single witness and consider its merits and demerits and having done so should decide whether it is satisfied that the truth has been told. On the authority of S v Sauls & others 1981 (3) SA 172 (A) “There is no rule of thumb test or formula to apply when it comes to a consideration of the credibility of the single witness…” “Rape is a serious offence which violates the rights…show more content…
Statutory confirmation of the abolition of the cautionary rule is found in section 60 of the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act 32 of 2007. However a particular case may call for a cautionary approach for instance where young witness is involved. The common law rule is that a child is only permitted to give sworn evidence in civil or criminal proceedings if they appear to the court to possess sufficient knowledge and understanding of the nature and consequences of the oath, Section 192 of the Criminal Procedure Act, 1977 (Act 51 of 1977) provides that everyone is presumed to be a competent and compellable witness however the child should be capable of understanding the importance of having to tell the truth and understanding the Oath. Judges exercise judgement whether to exercise this rule or not, it is trite that the single witness evidence should be approached with caution. The objective of this approach is mainly to reduce the risk of wrong convictions. The evidence must be clear and satisfactory in every material respect, the consistency of witness should be…show more content…
Under common law the evidence of a complainant in a sexual offence must be corroborated with either direct or indirect circumstantial evidence. Corroboration is required by statute when the state relies for a conviction on a single witness in terms of section 209 of the Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977. The appellant corroborated the testimony by the first report she made to her friend briefly , the rape of the appellant had previously been made by a statement out of court which affirms her testimony, Under the common law victims of sexual assault cases were required to make a statement at the first reasonable opportunity, Section 58 of the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act 32 of 2007 provides that evidence relating to previous consistent statements by a complainant shall be admissible in criminal proceedings, Section 59 no adverse inference may be drawn against the complainant merely because of the delay between the rape and the first report of it .The trial court has the discretion to ascertain what was deemed as reasonable in order for same to be admissible the victim must have made the statement voluntary in S vs T 1963 (1) SA 484 (A) the mother of the victim threatened to hit the victim if the victim did not tell her what the accused had done to her. On this basis the report was held to be inadmissible, the complainant

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