Case BriefsForeign Courts

South Africa High Court, Free State Division, Bloemfontein: The Division Bench of S. Naidoo, ADJP., and P. Molisoane, J.  in this particular review under Section 302 of the Criminal Procedure Act, 1977 (CPA) found that all the elements of the offence were not proven in order to sustain a conviction.

In the instant case, the accused was charged under Section 59(4)(a) of the National Road Traffic Act 93 of 1996, in the Brandfort Magistrates Court. He was alleged to have exceeded the speed limit while driving. The speed was recorded by a speed recording device, operated by a traffic officer. Thereafter, he pleaded guilty and later on found guilty after the Court questioned him in terms of Section 112 (1)(b) of the  Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977 (CPA). He was sentenced to a fine or imprisonment, which was wholly suspended for three years on certain conditions.

Taking note of the case of S v. Enoch Phuzi, Case number R 254/2018, a Full Bench decision of this Court, a letter was addressed to the magistrate enquiring if the accused was asked about competence and ability of the traffic officer who operated the speed recording device, and whether the magistrate satisfied himself that the accused admitted the competence of the traffic officer to operate such a device. In his reply, the magistrate agreed on not asking the accused about the competence of the traffic officer but that he rather focused on the proper functioning of the device. Moreover, the Magistrate conceded that the guidelines set out in Phuzi were not followed and requested that the conviction and sentence be set aside.

In addition to this, the accused did not admit that he knew that it was unlawful to drive at the speed he was driving. Moreover, the Magistrate asked some irrelevant questions to extract information from the accused.

In Phuzi, (Paragraph 31) it was held that – “the competence of the traffic officer to set up and operate the speed measuring device must be admitted in order to prove that the speed was measured in accordance with the manufacturer’s specifications”.

After analyzing all the points at hand, the Court ordered that the conviction and sentence be set aside.[State v. Gomolemo Thakanyane, Review No. R29/2019, decided on 28-06-2019]

Hot Off The PressNews

S.O. 1522(E).— In exercise of the powers conferred by the proviso to sub-section (1) of Section 112 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 (59 of 1988) and in suppression of the notification of the Government of India in the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways published in the Gazette of India, Extraordinary, Part If, Section 3, sub-section (ii) vide number S.0.1997(E) dated the 5thAugust, 2014, excepts as respect things done or omitted to be done before such supersession, Central Government hereby fixes the maximum speed in respect of the class of motor vehicles as specified in the table below:

                                                                TABLE

Maximum speed per hour in kilometres on roads in India
S.No. Class of Motor Vehicles Expressway with Access Control 4 lane and above divided
carriageway (roads with
Median strips/Dividers)
Road within Municipal Limits Other Roads
(1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6)
1. Motor vehicles used for carriage of passengers comprising not more than eight seats in addition to the driver’s seat (Ml category vehicles) 120 100 70 70
2. Motor vehicles used for carriage of passengers comprising nine or more seats in addition to the driver’s seat ( M2 and M3 category Vehicles) 100 90 60 60
3. More vehicles used for carriage of goods (All N category Vehicles) 80 80 60 60
4. Motor Cycles 80* 80 60 60
5. Quadricycle 60 50 50
6. Three wheeled vehicles 50 50 50
* If permitted to ply on Expressway.

2. No cognizance of the violation of the speed limits shall be taken under Section 183 of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988, if the speed detected is within 5 per cent of the maximum speed specified in this notification.

[F. No. RT-11028/07/2017-MVL]

Ministry of Road Transport and Highways