In terms section 59 of the Criminal Procedure Act an arrested person can apply for bail at the police station before the expiration of 48 hours and before first if the offence for which the accused is in custody for does not fall under Part II or Part III of a Schedule 2 offence. Such offence is not seen as one of a serious nature for example offenses such as theft under R2500, common assault or possession of dagga less than 115 grams, exceeding the speed limit.
In terms of section 59A, the DPP, or a prosecutor authorised by the DPP, may authorise the release of an accused on bail before their first court appearance if the accused is in custody on a Schedule 7 offence. A Schedule 7 offence is slightly more serious than that for which police may fix bail under section 59. For example, culpable homicide, assault, grievous bodily harm, robbery, theft and fraud (where the amount involved does not exceed R20,000) and possession of drugs. Other serious offenses the Court on a formal application will then determine whether to grant bail or not. The accused will need to be brought to court within 48 hours of being arrested if bail has not been granted by the prosecutor or police.