- S V Msimango 2018 (1) SACR 276 (SCA)
On p265 of his Criminal Law, fifth edition as published by LexisNexis, the learned criminal law author Snyman states that “the essence of the doctrine of common purpose [Afrikaans: ‘die gemeenskaplike oogmerkleerstuk’] is that if two or more people, having a common purpose to commit a crime or offence, act together in order to achieve that purpose, then the conduct of each of them in the execution of that purpose is imputed [Afrikaans: 'toegereken word'] to the others”.
Section 35(3)(a) of our Constitution provides as follows:
“Arrested, detained and accused persons
35.(3) Every accused person has a right to a fair trial, which includes the right -
(a) to be informed of the charge with sufficient detail to answer it.”
Note: This is, of course, a reference to the charge-sheet (Afrikaans: “klag-staat”)*.
Discussion of S v Msimango
Mr Msimango, hereinafter referred to as the accused, was convicted before the regional court in Johannesburg ("the trial court") on the following charges: robbery with aggravating circumstances; and attempted murder, whereupon he was sentenced to an effective sentence of 25 years’ incarceration.