DETENTION AT PSYCHIATRIC HOSPITAL NOT REVIEWABLE UNDER SECTION 302 OF CPA

S v CACAMBILE 2018 (1) SACR 8 (ECB)

 

Review— Of detention at psychiatric hospital pending decision by judge in chambers — Not subject to review in terms of s 302 of Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977.

Trial — Mental state of accused — Order in terms of s 47 of Mental Health Act 17 of 2002 — Reviewability under s 302 of Criminal Procedure Act 51 of1977.

Trial — Mental state of accused — Order in terms of s 47 of Mental Health Act 17 of 2002 — Lawyers encouraged to use term ‘psychiatric hospital’ or ‘institution’ for ‘mental hospital’.

 

A magistrate had found the accused guilty of assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, and, applying the provisions of s 77(6)(a)(i) of the Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977 (the Act), ordered that he be detained at a ‘mental hospital’ pending a decision by a judge in chambers in terms of s 47 of the Mental Health Care Act 17 of 2002. The magistrate recorded that the matter was subject to automatic review, as provided for in s 302 of the Act.

Held, that an order for the detention of an accused person pending a judge’s decision was not a sentence and as such was not automatically reviewable. (See [2].)

Held, further, that the court had not been informed of the nature and extent of any admissible evidence against the accused, and this was fatal to the proceedings. (See [10].)

Semble: The magistrate made reference to the accused being detained at a ‘mental’ hospital pending a judge’s decision in terms of s 47 of the Mental Health Care Act or until a further lawful order was given for the accused’s ‘disposal’. Lawyers were encouraged to use the term ‘psychiatric hospital ‘or ‘institution’ instead. It was unclear what the word ‘disposal’ was intended to convey, but it was simply offensive. (See 15].)

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