National Credit Act, 2005 (Act No. 34 of 2005)
Chapter 8 : Enforcement of Act
Part A : Searches

153. Authority to enter and search under warrant

1)        A judge of the High Court, a regional magistrate or a magistrate may issue a warrant to enter and search any premises that are within the jurisdiction of that judge or magistrate if, from information on oath or affirmation, there are reasonable grounds to believe that-

a)        prohibited conduct has taken place, is taking place or is likely to take place on or in those premises; or

b)        anything connected with an investigation into possible prohibited conduct is in the possession of, or under the control of, a person who is on or in those premises.

 

2)        A warrant to enter and search may be issued at any time and must specifically-

a)        identify the premises that may be entered and searched; and

b)        authorise an inspector or a police officer to enter and search the premises and to do anything listed in section 154.

 

3)        A warrant to enter and search is valid until one of the following events occurs:

a)        The warrant is executed;

b)        the warrant is cancelled by the person who issued it or, in that person’s absence, by a person with similar authority;

c)        the purpose for which it was issued has lapsed; or

d)        one month has expired after the date it was issued.

 

4)        A warrant to enter and search may be executed only during the day, unless the judge, regional magistrate or magistrate who issued it authorises that it may be executed at night at a time that is reasonable in the circumstances.

 

5)        A person authorised by a warrant issued in terms of subsection (2) may enter and search premises named in that warrant.

 

6)        Immediately before commencing with the execution of a warrant, a person executing that warrant must either-

a)        if the owner, or person in control, of the premises to be searched is present-

i)          provide identification to that person and explain to that person the authority by which the warrant is being executed; and

ii)         hand a copy of the warrant to that person or to the person named in the warrant; or

b)        if none of those persons is present, affix a copy of the warrant to the premises in a prominent and visible place.

154. Powers to enter and search

1)        A person who is authorised under section 153 to enter and search premises may-

a)        enter upon or into those premises;

b)        search those premises;

c)        search any person on those premises if there are reasonable grounds to believe that the person has personal possession of an article or document that has a bearing on the investigation;

d)        examine any article or document on or in those premises that has a bearing on the investigation;

e)        request information about any article or document from the owner of, or person in control of, the premises or from any person who has control of the article or document, or from any other person who may have the information;

f)          take extracts from, or make copies of, any book or document on or in the premises that has a bearing on the investigation;

g)        use any computer system on the premises, or require assistance of any person on the premises to use that computer system, to-

i)          search any data contained in or available to that computer system; and

ii)         reproduce any record from that data;

h)        seize any output from that computer for examination and copying; and

i)          attach and, if necessary, remove from the premises for examination and safekeeping anything that has a bearing on the investigation.

 

2)        Section 139(5) applies to an answer given or statement made to an inspector in terms of this section.

 

3)        An inspector authorised to conduct an entry and search in terms of section 153 may be accompanied and assisted by a police officer.

155. Conduct of entry and search

1)        A person who enters and searches any premises under section 154 must conduct the entry and search with strict regard for decency and order, and with regard for each person’s right to dignity, freedom, security and privacy.

 

2)        During any search under section 154(1)(c), only a female inspector or police officer may search a female person, and only a male inspector or police officer may search a male person.

 

3)        A person who enters and searches premises under section 154, before questioning any person-

a)        must advise that person of the right to be assisted at the time by an advocate or attorney; and

b)        allow that person to exercise that right.

 

4)        A person who removes anything from premises being searched must-

a)        issue a receipt for it to the owner of, or person in control of, the premises; and

b)        return it as soon as practicable after achieving the purpose for which it was removed.

 

5)        During a search, a person may refuse to permit the inspection or removal of an article or document on the grounds that it contains privileged information.

 

6)        If the owner or person in control of an article or document refuses in terms of subsection (5) to give that article or document to the person conducting the search, the person conducting the search may request the registrar or sheriff of the High Court that has jurisdiction to attach and remove the article or document for safe custody until that court determines whether or not the information is privileged.

 

7)        A police officer who is authorised to enter and search premises under section 154, or who is assisting an inspector who is authorised to enter and search premises under section 154, may overcome resistance to the entry and search by using as much force as is reasonably required, including breaking a door or window of the premises.

 

8)        Before using force in terms of subsection (7), a police officer must audibly demand admission and must announce the purpose of the entry, unless it is reasonable to believe that doing so may induce someone to destroy or dispose of an article or document that is the object of the search.

 

9)        The National Credit Regulator may compensate anyone who suffers damage because of a forced entry during a search when no-one responsible for the premises was present.

Debt Counsellors

Marsia Kuypers

Tel: 082 396 2568

Fax: 086 556 3328

Area: Pretoria

Jan-Viljoen Coetzee

Tel: 084 549 1755

Fax: 086 621 9193

Area: Nina Park

Valerie Nakale

Tel: 018 381 8768

Fax: 018 381 8604

Area: Mafikeng

Dean Morris

Tel: 083 645 4094

Fax: 031 763 4363

Area: La Lucia

Joana Vivier

Tel: 053 832 6229

Fax: 086 543 4640

Area: Kimberley

Jacques Jooste

Tel: 011 794 7555

Fax: 011 794 9965

Area: Johannesburg

Marlene Stein

Tel: 012 667 4177

Fax: 086 527 2203

Area: Irene

Heidi Naude

Tel: 044 873 0281

Fax: 086 512 5012

Area: George

Herbert Theron

Tel: 011 472 0088

Fax: 086 655 6730

Area: Florida

Isabe Landman

Tel: 041 933 1189

Fax: 086 591 2676

Area: Despatch

Andiswa Tinto

Tel: 021 431 9134

Fax: 086 523 7084

Area: Cape Town

Jaco Janse Van Rensburg

Tel: 082 568 4969

Fax: 086 645 0389

Area: Barberton

Monique Snyders

Tel: 032 946 3024

Fax: 086 588 4605

Area: Ballito

Christopher Beukes

Tel: 084 2577599

Fax: 021 637 5023

Area: Athlone

Lydia Kinnear

Tel: 082 824 6338

Fax: 086 537 5976

Area: Annlin

Anlizette Schuurman

Tel: 031 903 3840

Fax: 031 701 5570

Area: Amanzimtoti

Kelebogile Mooketsi

Tel: 082 299 3430

Fax: 086 695 3280

Area: Amandasig

Annerie Marais

Tel: 083 703 0486

Fax: 045 838 6572

Area: Aliwall North

Rerandzo Mokgwatlheng

Tel: 082 430 6329

Fax: 011 805 8348

Area: Alexandra Township

Daniel Lezar

Tel: 011 907 1022

Fax: 011 907 1490

Area: Alberton