– Burford v Minister of Police, unreported case no CA 128/2015 dated 10 November 2015 (ECG)
Section 50 (1)(a),(b),(c) and (d)(i) of the Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977 (“the CPA”) provides as follows:
“50. Procedure after arrest
(1)(a) Any person who is arrested with or without warrant for allegedly committing an offence, or for any other reason, shall as soon as possible be brought to a police station or, in the case of an arrest by warrant, to any other place which is expressly mentioned in the warrant.
(b) A person who is in detention as contemplated in paragraph (a) shall, as soon as reasonably possible, be informed of his/her right to institute bail proceedings.
(c) Subject to paragraph (d), if such an arrested person is not released by reason that -
(i) no charge is to be brought against him/her; or
(ii) bail is not granted to him/her in terms of section 59 or 59A, s/he shall be brought before a lower court as soon as reasonably possible, but not later than 48 hours after the arrest.
(d) If the period of 48 hours expires -
(i) outside ordinary court hours or on a day which is not an ordinary court day, the accused shall be brought before a lower court not later than the end of the first court day;..”
Section 35(1)(d), (e) and (f) of our Constitution provides as follows:
“35. Arrested, detained and accused persons
(1) Everyone who is arrested for allegedly committing an offence has the right -
(d) to be brought before a court as soon as reasonably possible, but not later than -
(i) 48 hours after the arrest; or
(ii) the end of the first court day after the expiry of the 48 hours, if the 48 hours expire outside ordinary court hours or on a day which is not an ordinary court day;
(e) at the first court appearance after being arrested, to be charged or to be informed of the reason for the detention to continue, or to be released; and
(f) to be released from detention if the interests of justice permit, subject to reasonable conditions.”
On Thursday 10 January 2013, Mr Benjamin Johannes Burford and Mr Clinton Minnaar, were arrested without a warrant by SAPS members near Port Elizabeth, on a charge of housebreaking and theft.
What happened was that, on the evening of Thursday 10 January 2013, Minnaar, whom Burford knew as a neighbour, asked Burford to give him a lift to Minnaar’s place of work at Deal Party near Port Elizabeth. Burford agreed. When they arrived at the business premises of Minnaar’s place of work, the latter opened a storeroom with a key that he had with him and emerged with certain pieces of aluminium.