Question posted in the General Law category relating to Western Cape
I recieved a fine during the the first 3 weeks of lockdown (section 56 notice, charge: Reg 11 B(1)(a)(i) ) for failing to be confined to my residence, even though i was only out to get groceries.
what I would like to know is if paying this fine will land me with a criminal record or not? and should I go to the magistrates court to try and speak to the public prosecutor?
Answer to the Question
Hi there and thank you for your question,
I am a practicing attorney based in South Africa and I will assist you with your question. Please feel free to ask as many follow up questions in order to clarify your question. If you have a new question, you must please open a new thread.
In terms of the regulations, you are (and you were at that point in time) allowed to leave your residence in order to buy essential products, such as groceries and food. It therefore appears that you have been incorrectly charged and incorrectly received the fine.
You should therefore challenge the fine as having been incorrectly issued.
If you pay the fine it will constitute an admission of guilt fine and you will technically have a criminal record, even though your criminal record will read "failure to comply with Reg 11 B(1)(a)(i)", and not "murder". If you wanted to apply for a Visa in the future, you would need to explain this away.
Retired state advocate Johan du Toit said that “every admission of guilt fine is a previous conviction”.
So, it is best to fight it.
You can't go to the magistrates court before the date that your case actually appears in court. In my view, you should therefore wait until you receive a court date, and then go to court on that date, and speak to the prosecutor about cancelling the fine.
If there is a part of the answer which you need more advice on, or clarity please continue in this same thread instead of opening a new question.
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