YEARS after a roadside instant grass seller paid a R500 admission of guilt fine, he was refused a police clearance certificate because of his continuing criminal record. This lost Lloyd Madhinha his chance to become an Uber driver. But he then took action, asking the court to set aside his earlier “conviction and sentence”. This gave a full bench of the high court the chance to examine the status of admission of guilt payments under section 57 the Criminal Procedure Act. The court concluded that the records of such “convictions” were not permanent, and that the police were misusing the system by putting pressure on an accused to admit guilt and pay the stipulated fines. The judgment also urged that the national commissioner of police become involved in curbing this practice.