Citizen’s Arrest


Any private citizen may execute an arrest without a warrant on a person who commits or attempt to commit a schedule 1 offence. A South African Citizen may also arrest anyone attempting to escape lawful custody.
South African citizens have the right to arrest any person engaged in fighting. Upon arrest a suspect must be informed of the reason for the arrest.

South African citizens are PRIVATELY LIABLE if they perform an unlawful arrest

Examples of Schedule 1 Offences:
– Treason and Sedition
– Murder and Culpable Homicide
– Rape, Indecent Assault and any Sexual offences against a child or the mentally disabled
– Theft, Robbery, Breaking and knowingly receiving stolen goods
– Kidnapping and Fraud
– Public Violence or Assault
– Arson and Malicious Damage to property
From the moment of arrest, the suspect has the right to consult a lawyer. Apart from giving his name and
address, the suspect is under no obligation to answer any questions.

Examples of offences NOT Schedule 1:
– Sodomy and Prostitution
– Drug Dealing
– Public Drunkenness and Urinating in Public
– Dumping Rubbish and Littering

Click here to see a PDF file with the complete LAW REGARDING A CITIZEN’S ARREST