South African drivers have actually seen an increased cops existence on the nation’s roadways in current weeks as part of the nation’s level 4 lockdown limitations.

The limitations consist of a rigorous curfew and a restriction on leisure travel for citizens of Gauteng, with South African Police Service (SAPS) officers concentrating on significant provincial paths.

This, integrated with current robbery and discontent in parts of the nation, has actually once again raised concerns around the rights of vehicle drivers at obstructions.

In a lot of situations, the authorities needs to have a warrant released prior to browsing your automobile or house, state legal specialists at DSC Attorneys.

Nevertheless, under particular scenarios the Criminal Procedure Act, the Police Act and the Drugs and Drug Trafficking Act empower the authorities to browse your cars and truck or house without very first acquiring a warrant, it stated.

The company stated that authorities can browse your house or vehicle without your consent and without very first getting a warrant if an officer has a “sensible suspicion” that you:

  • Have actually devoted a criminal activity; or
  • Remain in ownership of product utilized, or to be utilized, in a criminal activity.
A law enforcement officer can’t just browse your house or cars and truck on an impulse. She or he need to have proof to support sensible suspicion.


DSC Attorneys stated that a warrant is required in a lot of situations for the cops to lawfully perform a search of your vehicle or house, however there are exceptions.

You permit

If a law enforcement officer requests your consent, and you give them that consent, it ends up being a legal search.


The Police Act enables officers to establish obstructions with the authorization of the National or Provincial Police Commissioner. The Act permits a policeman to browse any cars and truck stopped at an obstruction.

An officer can take any product that’s fairly thought to have actually been utilized in a criminal activity or can be utilized as proof in showing the commissioning of a criminal offense.

” Clearly, this is open to abuse. A policeman at an obstruction can browse your vehicle when she or he has no factor to think you have actually devoted, or are preparing to dedicate, a criminal offense,” the company stated.


Cops are lawfully enabled to browse your house or automobile without your approval and without a warrant when the requirement to perform the search is so immediate that any hold-up triggered by acquiring a warrant “would beat the things of the search”.

This implies the authorities can browse your house or automobile to take proof they think would be imminently moved or damaged, DSC Attorneys stated.

” There are limitations on this power. The law enforcement officer included should have affordable premises to think a warrant would have been provided.

” If proof is acquired when there was no genuine seriousness or inadequate premises for the search to happen, the proof can’t be utilized in a trial versus the implicated.”

How to react to a cops search

It’s difficult to understand how to react to a cops search, particularly after checking out reports of nasty interactions with policeman, DSC Attorneys stated.

” Remember to constantly stay calm, courteous and cooperative. First of all, request recognition so that you understand you’re handling a genuine law enforcement officer and ask to see a search warrant. Remember of names, times and the place of the search.

If you’re stopped at an obstruction, bear in mind that your automobile can be browsed.

” You can’t decline it. You can and need to ask the law enforcement officer to reveal you ID and the composed authorisation from the National or Provincial Police Commissioner for the establishing of the obstruction.”