- Messrs (1) Sechaba Seloana; (2) Mmuso Seloana; and (3) Abraham Itumeleng Popa v (1) The Director of Public Prosecutions [for the Free State Province] [DPP]; (2) National Director of Public Prosecutions [NDPP]; and (3) the Presiding Magistrate in the Welkom District Magistrates’ Court case no: 4019/2020 High Court Bloemfontein dated 24 August 2021 (FB)
Relevant, applicable legal provisions
Section 75 of the Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977 (“the CPA”) provides as
“75 Summary trial and court of trial
(1) When an accused is to be tried in a court in respect of an offence, he or she shall, subject to the provisions of sections 119, 122A and 123 [of the CPA], be tried at a summary trial in -
(a) a court which has jurisdiction and in which he or she appeared for the first time in respect of such offence in accordance with any method referred to in section 38 [of the CPA];
(b) a court which has jurisdiction and to which he or she was referred to under subsection (2) [of section 75 of the CPA]; or
(c) any other court which has jurisdiction and which has been designated by the attorney-general* or any person authorised thereto by the attorney-general*, whether in general or in any particular case, for the purpose of such summary trial.
(2)(a) If an accused appears in a court which does not have jurisdiction to try the case, the accused shall at the request of the prosecutor be referred to a court having jurisdiction.
(b) If an accused appears in a magistrate's court and the prosecutor informs the court that he or she is of the opinion that the alleged offence is of such a nature or magnitude that it merits punishment in excess of the jurisdiction of a magistrate’s court but not of the jurisdiction of a regional court, the court shall if so requested by the prosecutor refer the accused to the regional court for summary trial without the accused having to plead to the relevant charge.
(3) The court before whom an accused appears for the purposes of a bail application shall, at the conclusion of the bail proceedings or at any stage thereafter, but before the accused has pleaded, refer such accused to a court designated by the prosecutor for purposes of trial.”
(Emphasis added and words in square brackets inserted by Pollex.)
Mr Sechaba Seloana, the accused, together with nine other accused persons, appeared in the Welkom district magistrates’ court on the Free State Gold Fields on 12 November 2018, charged with seven offences including kidnapping, extortion, two counts of theft, money laundering and illegal possession and transportation of gold bars (unwrought precious metal).