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The Constitutional Challenges of Warrantless Search and Seizure in South African Criminal Procedure: A Comparative Analysis

VINESH BASDEO∗ I. INTRODUCTION In South Africa suffice to say that the Constitution1 has eliminated the core notions and latter-day practices of its predecessors: parliamentary sovereignty, a dominant executive, indiscernible separation of powers, underdeveloped political accountability, no Bill of Rights and finally a racist base. The Constitution aims to effect a fundamental balance between the interests of society in bringing offenders to justice and the rights and liberties of persons suspected of crime. There was a perceived need for clear and certain rules within which police officials should operate. Although it is preferable that searches should only be conducted on the authority of a search warrant issued by a judicial officer, it is quite conceivable that circumstances may arise where the delay in obtaining such a warrant would defeat the object of the search. Sections 20, 22, 23, 25(3) and 27 of the Criminal Procedure Act 19772 deal with warrantless searches. Section 22 of the Criminal Procedure Act, which provides for search without a warrant, can basically be divided into two parts: a search conducted with the consent of the person concerned, and a search undertaken on the reasonable belief that a warrant will be issued to the http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png African Journal of International and Comparative Law Edinburgh University Press

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