- S v Mhlongo (AR 504/19)  ZAKZPHC 45 (30 July 2021) (KZP)
Relevant and applicable legal provisions
Section 170A(1), (4) and (5) of the Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977 (“the CPA”) provides as follows:
“170A Evidence through intermediaries [in Afrikaans text: ‘getuienis deur bemiddeling van tussengangers’]
(1) Whenever criminal proceedings are pending before any court and it appears to such court that it would expose any witness under the biological or mental age of eighteen years to undue mental stress or suffering if he or she testifies at such proceedings, the court may, subject to subsection (4) [infra], appoint a competent person as an intermediary in order to enable such witness to give his or her evidence through that intermediary.
(2) and (3) …
(4)(a) The Minister [of Justice] may by notice in the Gazette determine the persons or the category or class of persons who are competent to be appointed as intermediaries.
(b) An intermediary who is not in the full-time employment of the State shall be paid such travelling and subsistence and other allowances in respect of the services rendered by him or her as the Minister, with the concurrence of the Minister of Finance, may determine.
(5)(a) No oath, affirmation or admonition which has been administered through an intermediary in terms of section 165 [of the CPA] shall be invalid and no evidence which has been presented through an intermediary shall be inadmissible solely on account of the fact that such intermediary was not competent to be appointed as an intermediary in terms of a regulation referred to in subsection (4)(a) [supra], at the time when such oath, affirmation or admonition was administered or such evidence was presented.