CRIMINAL LAW

6. APPEAL & REVIEW

 6.1 APPEAL

There isn't an automatic right to an appeal in South Africa.  There is however an automatic right to APPLY for an appeal.  This can only be done after conviction AND sentence.  This should ideally be done within 14 days of sentence being passed.  It can be done after the 14 days as well, but then condonation will need to be requested, wherein reasons will need to be given why the appeal wasn't applied for 14 days after sentence was passed.

The appeal will need to be applied for in front of the magistrate and or judge that convicted the accused, and passed the sentence.  Should this magistrate or judge deny the application, the accused can then petition the High Court.  

An appeal can only be done on the facts that was presented to the court during the trial, and only on the basis of the court making a mistake in interpreting the evidence.  If the procedure of the trial is being challenged, that must be done via a review process.

That being said however, it isn't impossible to add new evidence in the appeal.  It can be done with the application to appeal, but very good reasons and or motivation needs to be provided as to why that evidence wasn't presented during the trial.

If the appeal to the High Court wasn't successful, you can then apply to the Supreme Court of Appeal, and thereafter the Constitutional Court.

© 2020 Anton Swart Attorneys Inc

Block 15 D, Central Office Park

257 Jean Avenue,

Centurion, Pretoria

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