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Perjury can land you in prison

The police in Kleinvlei have warned residents not to lay false charges with the police.

The warning follows an incident in which a mother falsely claimed that her two-year-old daughter was kidnapped.

According to Const Jessica Radebe, police spokesperson, a woman entered the police station claiming her child was kidnapped.

“The woman from Electric City was arrested at the station. She reported the kidnapping of her daughter. She said the child was kidnapped at Old Faure Road by four unknown suspects.

“She claimed they attacked her, snatched the child and drove off in a white VW Polo. The case was immediately responded to and investigated by the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit (FCS) from the Kuils River police,” says Radebe.

It was later discovered that the child was safe in the care of her aunt, with the knowledge of her mother.

“The seriousness of misusing the state’s resources on fake cases in a time when the country faces high rates of human trafficking incidents is quite frankly an insult to the situation in the country. This serves as a warning to all community members at large to refrain from perjury and be aware that it is a serious offence to lie under oath as there are drastic measures that will be taken against anyone who commits perjury,” says Radebe.

She says perjury is described in the Criminal Procedure Act 56 of 1995 and South African Common Law criminalise perjury and can be defined as the unlawful and intentional making of a false statement in the course of a judicial proceeding by a person who has taken the oath or made an affirmation before, or who has been admonished by someone competent to administer or accept the oath, affirmation or admonition.

“In simpler terms if you lie purposefully, omit the truth or knowingly provide incorrect information to a police official in a sworn affidavit such as is given when a case is opened at the police station, you can find yourself sentenced to paying a hefty fine or receiving up to ten years imprisonment,” she says.

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