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Proc. No. 15 of 1902.

Governor to have

dent, Executive and Government.

When any act is required or authorised to be done by any of the said laws, or whenever any process of Court is required to be taken out "in the name and on behalf of the people of the South African Republic" it shall be deemed to be required or authorised to be done or taken out in the name and on behalf of His Majesty King Edward VII.

18. All powers, authorities and functions, which by any powers of late Presi- law of the late South African Republic were required to be exercised by the President of the said State, either individually or in conjunction with the Executive Council thereof, or which were required to be exercised by the said Executive Council independently, or by the Government, may as far as the same are capable of being exercised under the change of Government in the Transvaal be exercised by the Governor.

Short title.

19. This Proclamation may be cited for all purposes as "The Interpretation of Laws Proclamation, 1902."

Proc. No. 16 of 1902.

PROCLAMATION

By His Excellency the Administrator.

(DATED 10TH APRIL, 1902).

For Altering, Amending and Declaring in certain respects the Law of Evidence within this Colony.

WHEREAS, it is expedient to alter, amend, and declare

Colony :

in certain respects the law of evidence within this

Now therefore by virtue of the authority in me vested, I do hereby declare, proclaim and make known as follows::1. From the taking effect of this Proclamation every person not expressly excluded by this Proclamation from giving evidence shall be competent and compellable to give evidence in any Court in this Colony.

2. It shall be competent for the Court alone in which any case may be depending to decide upon all questions concerning the competency of any witness or the admissibility of any evidence; and in all cases which shall be tried by a Jury it shall be competent for such Jury alone to determine as to the effect of any evidence admitted by the Court and as to the degree of credit to be attached thereto.

Preamble.

No person to be excluded from giving

evidence except under this Proclamation.

The Court to decide on admissibility of

Incompetency

intoxication.

3. No person appearing or proved to be afflicted with idiocy, lunacy, or insanity, or labouring under any imbecility of mind from insanity and arising from intoxication or otherwise whereby he is deprived of the proper use of reason. shall in any case be competent to give evidence while under the influence of any such malady or disability.

seven

4. It shall not in any case be competent to examine any person other than such as are mentioned in Sections six and of this Proclamation as a witness except upon oath.

Witnesses to be examined on oath.

Form of oath or

5. In all cases the oath to be administered to any person as a witness, shall be administered in the form which shall most affirmation. clearly convey to him the meaning of the oath, and which he shall consider to be binding on his conscience.

Affirmation substituted for oath in case any

6. In all cases where any person who is or may be required to take an oath shall object to do so, it shall be lawful for such person to make an affirmation in the words following:-"I do objects truly affirm and declare that" (here insert the matter to be affirmed oath. or declared) which affirmation or declaration shall be of the same

to

person taking

Proc. No. 16 of 1902.

Penalties for making false affirmation.

When

unsworn

force and effect as if such person had taken such oath. And every person authorised, required, or qualified by law to take or administer an oath, shall accept in lieu thereof, an affirmation or declaration as aforesaid.

The same penalties, punishments, and disabilities which are respectively in force and are attached to any neglect, refusal, and false or corrupt taking or subscribing of any such oath as aforesaid, shall apply and attach in like manner in respect of the neglect, refusal, and false or corrupt making or subscribing respectively, of any such affirmation or declaration as in this section mentioned.

7. Persons produced for the purpose of giving evidence, testimony admissible. who, from ignorance arising from youth, defective education, or other cause shall be found not to understand the nature, or recognise the religious obligation of an oath, shall, and may be admitted to give evidence in any Court within this Colony without being sworn or being upon oath or affirmation: Provided always, that before any such person shall proceed to give evidence, the Judge or Magistrate before whom he shall be offered as a witness, shall admonish him to speak the truth the whole truth and nothing but the truth, and shall further administer, or cause to be administered to such person, any form of admonition which shall, either from his own statement, or other source of information appear to be calculated to impress his mind and bind his conscience, and which shall not as being of an inhuman, immoral, or irreligious nature be obviously unfit to be administered: And provided also, that any such person who shall wilfully and falsely state anything which, if sworn, would have amounted to the crime of perjury, shall be deemed to have committed the said crime, and shall, upon conviction, be subject to such punishment as is or shall be by law provided for in regard to the said crime.

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8. Where any person who has been an accomplice either as principal or accessory in the commission of any crime or offence charged in the indictment or complaint under trial, shall be produced as a witness by and on the part of the Public Prosecutor, and shall submit to be sworn as a witness, and shall fully answer to the satisfaction of the Court all such lawful questions as shall be put to him while under examination such person shall thereby be absolutely freed and discharged from all liability to prosecution for any such crime or offence, either at the instance of the Public Prosecutor or of any private party or when he has been produced as a witness by and on the part of any private prosecutor from all prosecution for such crime or offence at the instance of such private prosecutor. And it shall and may be lawful for the said Court thereupon to cause such discharge to be duly entered on the record of the proceedings in such trial: Provided always that no such accomplice produced as a witness by and on the part of any private prosecutor shall in any case be bound or legally compellable to answer any question whereby he may criminate himself in respect of any crime or offence charged in the

indictment, information, or complaint under trial, unless there shall be produced to him, and put on record, a writing under the hand of the officer who by law is entitled to prosecute at the public instance in such Court, discharging such accomplice from all liability to prosecution at the instance of the Public Prosecutor for such crime or offence.

Proc. No. 16 of 1902.

Evidence of ac

9. Where any such accomplice, as aforesaid, in any crime or offence charged in any indictment or complaint shall have complice not to be used against him if he been produced as a witness by and on the part of the Public should thereafter be Prosecutor, or of any private prosecutor (by whom there shall tried for the offence. have been obtained from such officer, as aforesaid, a written discharge of such accomplice from liability to prosecution as aforesaid) and shall have given evidence at the trial of such indictment or complaint, it shall not be competent to give in evidence against such accomplice if he shall thereafter be tried for such crime or offence, any part of the testimony which shall have been so given by him at the said trial, as aforesaid: Provided always that nothing herein contained shall extend or be construed to free or exempt any such accomplice who shall be guilty of wilful and corrupt perjury while under examination notwithstanding liable to penalties of as a witness in any such trial, as aforesaid, from any penalties perjury and evidence or forfeitures to which persons guilty of wilful and corrupt on charge of perjury perjury are, or shall be liable by any law of this Colony: or to not affected. render incompetent or inadmissible, any evidence which would otherwise be competent and admissible in the trial of such accomplice on a charge of wilful and corrupt perjury on his examination as a witness in any such trial as aforesaid.

10. Any court or jury in any case which shall be tried by such Court or jury, respectively, may convict any person who shall be so tried before any such Court or jury of any crime or offence charged in the indictment or complaint under trial on the single evidence of any such accomplice as aforesaid: Provided always that such crime, or offence, shall by competent evidence, other than the single and unconfirmed evidence of such accomplice, be proved to the satisfaction of such Court or jury respectively, to have been actually committed.

But accomplice is

Conviction

single evidence

on

of

accomplice provided the crime is prove‹l aliunde.

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Evidence of cused and husband and wife in criminal

11. Every person charged with an offence, and the wife or
husband as the case may be, of the person so charged, shall be
a competent witness for the defence at every stage of the pro- proceedings.
ceedings, whether the person so charged is charged solely or
jointly with any other person: Provided as follows:

(a) A person so charged shall not be called as a witness.
except upon his own application:

(b) The wife or husband of the person charged shall not,
save as in the next succeeding section mentioned, be
called as a witness except upon the application of the
person so charged.

(c) A person charged and being a witness in pursuance of
this section may be asked any question in cross-
examination notwithstanding that it would tend to
criminate him as to the offence charged.

Proc. No. 16 of 1902.

Evidence by husband and wife.

Husband and wife

(d) A person charged and called as a witness in pursuance of this section shall not be asked, and if asked, shall not be required to answer any question tending to show that he has committed, or been convicted of, or been charged with any offence other than that wherewith he is then charged or is of bad character, unless

(i) He has personally, or by his advocate, asked questions of the witnesses with a view to establish his own good character or the nature or conduct of the defence is such as to involve imputation of the character of the prosecutor or the witnesses for the prosecution; or

(ii) He has given evidence against any other person
charged with the same offence.

(e) Every person called as a witness in pursuance of this
section shall, unless otherwise ordered by the Court,
give his evidence from the witness box or other place
from which the other witnesses give their evidence.
(f) Nothing in this section shall affect any right of the
person charged to make a statement without being
sworn. Provided that if the person charged gives
evidence on his own behalf at the preparatory
examination such evidence may be read and put in at
the trial of such person by the prosecutor.

12. The wife or husband of the person charged is competent and compellable to give evidence either for the prosecution or defence, and without the consent of the person charged, where such person is prosecuted for any offence against the person or separate property of the wife or husband of such person.

13. No husband shall be compelled to disclose any comnot compellable to munication made to him by his wife during the marriage, and no wife shall be compelled to disclose any communication made to her by her husband during the marriage.

disclose communica

tions between them.

Husband and wife privileged after di

14. No husband or wife after the dissolution of their vorce as to matters marriage by a competent Court shall in any civil or criminal occurring during the proceeding be compelled to give evidence as to any matter or subsistence of the thing which occurred during the subsistence of their said they would have been marriage, and as to which such husband or wife could not have privileged during the been compelled to give evidence if their said marriage had still continued to subsist at the time when such proceeding is heard.

marriage as to which

marriage.

No witness com

15. No person shall in any civil or criminal proceeding be pellable to answer compelled to answer any question or to give any evidence, which questions which the question or evidence the husband or wife of such person if under examination as a witness, in such proceeding might lawfully refuse, and could not be compelled to answer or give.

witness' husband or wife might decline.

Privilege of professional advisers.

16. No legal practitioner duly qualified to practise in any Court within this Colony or elsewhere shall in any legal proceeding be competent to give evidence against any person by whom he has been professionally employed or consulted without

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