2 [1] This appeal, in the main, concerns the admissibility of evidence, obtained through the use of torture, from an accomplice. The question arises because the chief state witness against the appellant implicated him in several crimes through narrative and real evidence – but disclosed, when testifying at the trial more than four years later, that he had been beaten and tortured before leading the police to crucial evidence. The point at issue is whether that evidence can be used against the appellant. [2] The appellant, a former a police-officer, was convicted in the Verulam Regional Court (Mrs Pillay) of theft of a Toyota Hilux motorvehicle on 5 January 1998 (count 2), theft of a Toyota Corolla motorvehicle on 3 February 1998 (count 3) and robbery of a steel box containing R60 000 in cash and also of a further amount of R8450 from the Maidstone Post Office at Tongaat (counts 4 and 5) on 10 February 1998. For the theft of the two vehicles, taken together, he was sentenced to eight years’ imprisonment, and for the robbery to 15 years’ imprisonment – effectively 23 years’ imprisonment.1 [3] He appealed to the Durban High Court against his convictions and sentence. That court confirmed the convictions but reduced the sentence on counts 2 and 3 to five years’ imprisonment and that on counts 4 and 5 to 12 years’ imprisonment. The effective sentence was reduced to 17 years’ imprisonment.2 Leave to appeal was granted to this court. [4] At the trial, the following witnesses testified for the State: Mr Sudesh Ramseroop, Sergeant Selvan Govender, Mr Luke Krishna, 1 The appellant originally faced seven charges. Only four are relevant to this appeal. The order indicates that the sentence is 12 years’ imprisonment. And counsel for the State accepted that this was so. It is however clear from the judgment that the effective sentence imposed was 17 years’ imprisonment. 2

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