An introduction to proof in South Africa
Author: Tshepo Bogosi Mosaka
Affiliations: Lecturer, Department of Public Law, University of Cape Town
Source: South African Law Journal, Volume 139 Issue 4, p. 837-861
The evaluation of evidence is a process about which not much is written, nor is it regulated as much as the comparable processes of admissibility and forms of presenting evidence are in South African evidence scholarship. This article follows the example set by Paizes by arguing for the introduction of a general theory of ‘proof’, which is used interchangeably with ‘evaluation’ in the article. After briefly introducing the existing doctrine, which consists mainly of a handful of the rules and guidelines that South African courts typically use to evaluate evidence, the article offers six justifications for the introduction of a general theory of proof in South African evidence scholarship. The third part of the article gives a methodological account of what is meant by a general theory of evidential proof in South African evidence scholarship. Part IV of the article comprises a discussion of the two foundational conditions required for a South African theory of proof.