Evidence establishes facts. For instance, the evidence of video footage would help to establish the fact that a certain person was at the scene of the commission of what it is being alleged he committed. Real and demonstrative evidence are two important forms of evidence, but they can only be used at a hearing if they’re admissible and relevant. Other forms of evidence could be:

  • Real evidence: consists of material items involved in a case, objects, and things that can physically be held and inspected. Examples of real evidence include fingerprints, blood samples, DNA results, a knife, a gun, and other physical objects.
  • Demonstrative evidence: These documents can be from a vast number of sources from diaries, letters, contracts, newspapers, and various other forms of documentation.
  • Documentary evidence: These documents can also be from a vast number of sources from diaries, letters, contracts, newspapers, and any other type of document that you can think of. There are restrictions and qualifications for using documents at trial as there is a need to make sure they are authentic and trustworthy.
  • Testimonial evidence: When a person gets up on the stand at trial and relates something that they saw or heard, that is testimonial evidence. It is simply a witness giving testimony under oath about the facts of the case.

The initiator needs to present any tools used to commit the misconduct or the item that the misconduct revolves around. Tools could include a various number of objects, including, but not limited to hammers, carry bags, crowbars and keys.

In S v Ramgobin and Others 1986 (4) SA 117, Milne JP held that for videotape recordings to be admissible in evidence, it must be proved that the exhibits are original recordings and that there exists no reasonable possibility of interference with the recordings.

The objects referred to herein are the tools or objects used to cause damage to another party. We must ensure that such evidence is protected and adduced at the disciplinary hearing as it is key evidence in proving the allegation against the individual implicated in the wrongdoing.

Real evidence is material, tangible evidence such as an object, a tape recording, a computer printout, or a photograph. It is evidence that the chairperson of the disciplinary hearing can examine for themselves. Generally, real evidence does not stand alone, and the hearing shall hear evidence from a witness (often an expert witness) explaining the significance or the relevance of the real evidence.

Real evidence often will give context to the witness’s testimonies, for example, where the actual size or weight of the item differs from what is imagined by the arbitrator if the proper context is not created.

It is a rule of natural justice that a party should be afforded an opportunity to present its case and to present evidence in support thereof or to contradict or challenge evidence, which is used against him.

Article by: Thabo Mongale
Dispute Resolution Official – Kimberley