When is an arrest unlawful?

Imagine being arrested but not being told why. Even worse, imagine if this arrest happened shortly after you reported a case of domestic abuse perpetrated against you?

702's John Robbie set out to find out about the rights of individuals following a story he heard over the weekend of a young woman in Alex who was arrested after reporting a case of domestic abuse against her.

While Spokesperson for Gauteng SAPS Colonel Noxolo Kwena confirmed that arrest guidelines are set out in the Criminal Procedure Act, the system is clearly still open for abuse.

Pertinent to the story John was querying, is that one can falsely lay a charge against someone; and that the police would have to act on it.

So - a jilted lover, for example, could lay a false charge to get back at their partner.

While the exact details of this case remain unclear - the chance exists that a charge may have been laid to undermine the woman, who had reported a case of alleged domestic abuse.

We take eveything as it comes, it is not up to us to determine whether you are lying or not lying. We'll have to verify all of the information. However if we find out you have lied or filed a false case, we do charge you.

Colonel Noxolo Kwena, Spokesperson for Gauteng SAPS

The rights of people being arrested as follows:

  • When you are arrested, members would inform you why you have been arrested - what are the charges against you - and that you have the right to remain silent.
  • You have the right to medical attention - even if injuries are incurred in the police cells after arrest.
  • You have the right to appear in court within 48 hours of their arrest
  • You have a right to a telephone call - whether to call a relative or a legal representative
  • When delivered at the holding cells, you fill in a register, to confirm you have been informed of your rights - and of the charges being brought against you.

Col Kwena also gave the undertaking to give feedback to John as the exact circumstances around the Alex woman became clearer. Listen here to her full interview with John Robbie here...


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