- S v de Jager and Others 2016 (2) SACR 716 (ECG)
Three accused persons were convicted of culpable homicide in the Uitenhage regional court in the Eastern Cape Province (“the trial court”). The basis for the conviction was that the death of a boy named Bevan Breyton Deon Joseph (hereinafter referred to as the deceased) came about as a result of the negligent conduct of the accused.
Accused 1 and 3 were each sentenced to five years’ incarceration in terms of section 276(1)(i) of the Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977* (“the CPA”), while accused 2 was sentenced to seven years’ incarceration, two years of which were conditionally suspended.
The events leading to the death of the deceased can be summarised as follows:
On 21 August 2010, at the Uitenhage sports ground, the Progress Rugby Club hosted rugby matches between itself and a visiting team, namely the Gardens. The supporters of both teams filled the pavilion - there were approximately between 3000 and 4000 supporters. Each group of supporters sat on its side of the pavilion. Towards the end of the last match, a fight broke out between players on the field. This was followed by the spectators on the pavilion throwing missiles (bottles) around. This, in turn, resulted in most of the spectators fleeing from the pavilion and running towards the exit points of the pavilion. One of the exits got so congested that the brick wall at the bottom of the pavilion collapsed and fell on top of a child who was on the ground beneath the brick wall. It is common cause that the child in question is the deceased in this matter who, unfortunately, died as a result of injuries sustained therein. There were scores of other people who fell from the pavilion after the wall gave in under the pressure and collapsed.