Formal admissions by accused or prosecutor during trial (Zimbabwe)
During the course of his trial X may admit to any fact relevant to the issue or, on instructions from his client, the defence lawyer may admit certain facts. The prosecutor may also make such admissions: s 314 CPEA. Any such admission "shall be sufficient evidence of that fact."
This provision only applies to admissions during the trial following upon a plea of not guilty or the entering of such a plea by the magistrate: Dhliwayo 1987 (1) ZLR 1 (H).
This procedure allows for admissions to be made, thereby dispensing with the need for the admitted facts to be proved. Where an undefended accused purports to make an admission of fact the court must ensure that the accused properly understands what he is admitting to and that he is competent to make the admission. The accused's legal representative may make admissions on his behalf.
Section 314(2) CPEA further provides that if the magistrate considers it desirable for the purpose of clarifying the facts in issue or obviating the production of evidence on facts which do not appear to be in dispute, he may, on the application of the prosecutor, ask X (or his lawyer) whether a fact relevant to the issue is admitted. Similarly, he may, on the application of X (or his lawyer) ask the prosecutor whether a particular relevant fact is admitted. Where it is proper to do so in the light of the client's instructions, the defence should be prepared to make such admissions about matters not in dispute. Non-cooperation and obstructionist tactics over such matters create a negative impression.