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Act

To prohibit illicit carnal intercourse between Europeans and non-Europeans and other acts in relation thereto.

[Long title amended by s. 5 of Act No. 21 of 1950.]



(Assented to 26th March, 1927.)
(Signed by the Governor-General in Afrikaans.)



Be it enacted by the King’s Most Excellent Majesty, the Senate and the House of Assembly of the Union of South Africa, as follows:―


Penalty on men in case of illicit intercourse between Europeans and non-Europeans.

1. Any European male who has illicit carnal intercourse with a non-European female, and any non-European male who has illicit carnal intercourse with a European female, shall be guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to imprisonment for a period not exceeding five years.

[S. 1 amended by s. 1 of Act No. 21 of 1950 and by s. 15 of Act No. 62 of 1955.]


Penalty on women in case of illicit intercourse between Europeans and non-Europeans.

2. Any non-European female who permits any European male to have illicit carnal intercourse with her and any European female who permits any non-European male to have illicit carnal intercourse with her shall be guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to imprisonment for a period not exceeding four years.

[S. 2 amended by s. 1 of Act No. 21 of 1950.]


Defence to charge.

2bis. It shall be a sufficient defence to any charge under section one or section two if it is proved to the satisfaction of the court or jury before whom the charge is brought that the person so charged at the time of the commission of the offence had reasonable cause to believe that the person with whom he or she committed the offence was a European if the person so charged is a European, or a non-European if the person so charged is a non-European.

[S. 2bis inserted by s. 2 of Act No. 21 of 1950.]


Procuring.

3. Any person who procures any non-European female for the purpose of her having illicit carnal intercourse with any European male or who procures any European female for the purpose of her having illicit carnal intercourse with any non-European male, or in any way assists in bringing about such intercourse shall be guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to imprisonment for a period not exceeding five years.

[S. 3 amended by s. 1 of Act No. 21 of 1950.]


Owner or occupier of premises permitting therein offences against this Act.

4. Any owner or occupier of any premises who knowingly permits the use of such premises for the purpose of any offence against any provision of this Act shall be guilty of an offence and liable on conviction to imprisonment for a period not exceeding five years.


Onus of proving marriage.

5. Whenever in any proceedings under this Act the question is in issue whether any female was married to any male, the onus of proving such marriage shall be upon the accused and in the absence of such proof such female and male shall be deemed to be unmarried.


[Section 6 repealed by s. 5 of Act No. 15 of 1931.]


Interpretation of terms.

7. In this Act—

(i)

‘European’ means a person who in appearance obviously is, or who by general acceptance and repute is a European;

(ii)

‘illicit carnal intercourse’ means carnal intercourse other than between husband and wife; and

(iii)

‘non-European’ means a person who in appearance obviously is, or who by general acceptance and repute is a non-European.
[S. 7 substituted by s. 3 of Act No. 21 of 1950.]


Presumption.

7bis. Any person who seems in appearance obviously to be a European or a non-European, as the case may be, shall for the purposes of this Act be deemed to be such, until the contrary is proved.

[S. 7bis inserted by s. 4 of Act No. 21 of 1950.]


Short title and commencement.

8. This Act may be cited as the Immorality Act, 1927, and shall come into operation on the thirtieth day of September, 1927.