- NDPP v Mr PDP and Others 2017 (2) SACR 577 (NCK)
First, Pollex was told that only a person with a valid driving licence can be the owner of a motor vehicle, except when such person pays cash for the motor vehicle concerned. Pollex, however, never bothered to check the validity of this information.
Second, Pollex has always been under the impression that the provisions of section 31 of the Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977 (“the CPA”) - and for that matter, also section 32 of the CPA - may only be applied by members of the SAPS and not by our courts of law (except of course on appeal and/or review).
The following will reveal whether the abovementioned information that Pollex had at hand is correct.
Section 31 of the CPA provides as follows (note that emphasis is added and words in square brackets are inserted by Pollex):
"31. Disposal of article where no criminal proceedings are instituted or where it is not required for criminal proceedings
(1) (a) If no criminal proceedings are instituted in connection with any article [in Afrikaans text: 'voorwerp'] referred to in section 30(c) [of the CPA and which is about the seizure of articles after arrest but before trial] or if it appears that such article is not required at the trial for purposes of evidence [in Afrikaans text: ‘bewyslewering’] or for purposes of an order of court, the article shall be returned to the person from whom it was seized [in Afrikaans text: ‘van wie dit in beslag geneem is’] if such person may lawfully possess such article, or, if such person may not lawfully possess such article, to the person who may lawfully possess it [for example a stolen firearm returned to the duly licensed complainant].
(b) If no person may lawfully possess such article [for example illicit drugs] or if the police official charged with the investigation does not know of any person who may lawfully possess such article, the article shall be forfeited to the State (in Afrikaans text: ‘word die voorwerp aan die Staat verbeur’].
(2) The person who may lawfully possess the article in question shall be notified by registered post at his/her last-known address that s/he may take possession of the article and if such person fails to take delivery of the article within 30 days from the date of such notification, the article shall be forfeited to the State.”
For the sake of completeness (but which is not relevant to this discussion), see section 32 of the CPA which is very similar to section 31 of the CPA supra but which is about “disposal of article where criminal proceedings are instituted and admission of guilt fine is paid”.
Now compare the wording of sections 31 and 32 of the CPA supra, with the wording of sections 34 and 35 of the CPA. Note then also that all proceedings under Chapter 6 (stretching from section 37 to section 62) of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act 121 of 1998 (POCA) and which are, inter alia, about forfeiture and property orders, are civil proceedings and not criminal proceedings (see section 37).
On 31 July 2015, members of SAPS set up a roadblock on the N14 between Keimoes and Kakamas in the vicinity of Upington in the Northern Cape. At around 13:00, a Renault Megane approached the roadblock from the Keimoes direction.