WHAT ARE SAPS CLEARANCE RECORDS?
A police clearance certificate is a document issued by the South African Police Service’s (SAPS) Criminal Record and Crime Scene Management stating whether or not any criminal offence has been recorded against a person.
A clearance certificate takes approximately four weeks to be processed. This clearance certificate will remain in a CV Check account for 12 months, at which point it will be deleted.
When a person has been arrested by the police, the first record that is created is the fact that you were arrested. The is recorded on a database that is shared between police departments and can come up on some background checks, this is known as a Record of Arrests and Prosecutions (RAP) sheet.
Once a person has been taken to court, a criminal record is created and will show charges and subsequent court appearances for that specific case. There are cases where a defence attorney can possibly arrange with the prosecutor to prevent you from being formally charged. If you do end up in court, you will have a court record even if you are found innocent or have your charges dismissed. This record will not show a conviction, but it will show that you were charged and went to court.
A Police Clearance Certificate serves the purpose in clarifying your criminal statuses such as easing the visa application process, emigration purposes, or security declaration of any form by an individual in the country or abroad. In regards to the Promotion of Administrative Justice Act 3 of 2000, this document is essential for employment in South Africa. It shows that you are of sound character.