• It is impossible to understand how parents can physically abuse and neglect their own children, and yet it happens. We remind our readers about what child abuse entails in a comprehensive article published in Servamus: May 2020.

    It is impossible to understand how parents can physically abuse and neglect their own children, and yet it happens. We remind our readers about what child abuse entails in a comprehensive article published in Servamus: May 2020.

  • The Springs Monster case is probably one of the worst child abuse cases in recent years. We bring you the first part of this crime series in the May 2020 issue of Servamus. A shocking, must-read for all.

    The Springs Monster case is probably one of the worst child abuse cases in recent years. We bring you the first part of this crime series in the May 2020 issue of Servamus. A shocking, must-read for all.

  • Bullying and cyberbullying are realities for children across the world. We explain the details of both types in detail and what could be done to identify and prevent it. Be informed and read both articles in Servamus: May 2020

    Bullying and cyberbullying are realities for children across the world. We explain the details of both types in detail and what could be done to identify and prevent it. Be informed and read both articles in Servamus: May 2020

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
0
0
0
s2smodern
powered by social2s

- S V Mkhize and Others (390/18) [2019] ZASCA 56 (1 April 2019) (SCA)

Background
The doctrine of common purpose (Afrikaans: “gemeenskaplike oogmerk-leerstuk”)

According to the learned criminal law author Snyman, on p265 of his Criminal Law, fifth edition as published by LexisNexis, “the essence of the doctrine [of common purpose] is that if two or more people, having a common purpose to commit a crime, act together in order to achieve that purpose, then the conduct [Afrikaans: ‘handeling’] of each of them in the execution of that purpose is imputed [Afrikaans: ‘toegereken’] to the others”. (Words in square brackets inserted by Pollex.)

Prima facie (at first sight or on the face of it) this sounds as if common purpose only applies to offences where the required form of mens rea (fault [Afrikaans: “skuld”]) is dolus (intention). Bear, however, in mind that the required form of mens rea for the offence of culpable homicide is culpa (negligence) and NOT dolus.

This is, of course, not so. Snyman, on p269 of his Criminal Law supra, refers to Supreme Court of Appeal (“SCA”) judgments where it was held that “common purpose to commit culpable homicide” is in fact possible. On p265 (again) in item 6, Snyman explains as follows, namely -

“If, on a charge of culpable homicide the evidence reveals that a number of persons acted with a common purpose to assault or commit robbery and that the conduct of one or more of them resulted in the death of the victim, the causing of the victim’s death is imputed to the other members of the group as well, but negligence in respect of the causing of the death is not imputed”.

The facts in S v Mkhize and Others under discussion
The five accused persons were all SAPS members who, at the time, were members of a special task team established to deal with a spate of armed robberies and car hijackings in the area of Jozini and Esikhawini in KwaZulu-Natal.

A man by the name of Bongani Cebekhulu (hereinafter referred to as the deceased) was suspected of being involved in these crimes. Accordingly, he was taken to the offices of the detective branch at Esikhawini. During interrogation by the five accused persons, the deceased died right there in the office.

All five the accused persons were charged with murder before the Esikhawini regional court. Note that not one of the accused persons gave evidence in their respective defence.

After a long trial all five the accused persons were convicted of the competent verdict (Afrikaans: “bevoegde uitspraak”) of culpable homicide. The regional court held that because all five accused persons were present at the offices during interrogation, they acted in common purpose and that a
reasonable person would have taken steps to guard against the possibility of death and that the accused persons failed to take such steps. All five accused persons were each sentenced to three years’ correctional supervision in terms of section 276(6)(1)(h) of the Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977. In addition, each one of the five accused persons were sentenced to five years’ incarceration which was wholly, conditionally suspended for four years.

Appeal before the High Court in Pietermaritzburg
Not satisfied with this outcome, all five accused persons appealed to the High Court in Pietermaritzburg (“the High Court”) against their convictions only. What happened here was that all the convictions were confirmed. However, in respect of sentence, the High Court held that it was too lenient. In the result the sentences imposed by the regional court were all set aside and replaced with a sentence of seven years’ incarceration of which two years were conditionally suspended for five years. The effective sentences imposed by the High Court were thus five years’ direct incarceration in respect of each of the five accused persons.

******************************

[This is only an extract of this legal discussion that is published in Servamus: March 2020. If you are interested in reading the rest of the discussion, send an e-mail to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or contact us at tel: (012) 345 4660/22 to find out how.]

0
0
0
s2smodern
powered by social2s

Servamus - May 2020

It was a difficult start to the 2020 school year. In Gauteng, several learners had died in various tragic accidents.
By Kotie Geldenhuys
When the news broke in January 2020 about a schoolboy who had drowned during a school orientation camp in North West, many parents were impacted by the fact that something similar could so easily happen to their own children.
By Annalise Kempen
It boggles one's mind when the innocence of a child meets the severity of a violent crime like murder.
By Kotie Geldenhuys
Do you realise that bullying is a form of child abuse? It is so serious that the legislature specifically mentions it in the Children’s Act 38 of 2005 where “abuse”, in relation to a child, means any form of harm or ill-treatment deliberately inflicted on a child, and includes bullying by another child.
By Annalise Kempen

Pollex - May 2020

Read More - S V Garland 2019 (2) SACR 162 (WCC)
Mr Garland, the accused, is currently approximately 26 years old. On 24 June 2011, when he was 17 years old, he was apprehended in his mother’s residence in the town of Montagu*, for the unlawful possession of a small quantity of cannabis (dagga).
Read More - Msongelwa V Minister of Police (112/2012) [2020] ZAECMHC 10 (17 March 2020) (EMC)
The plaintiff (Afrikaans: “eiser”), Mr Nkululeko Msongelwa, was arrested on 7 August 2011 at a tavern in Mthatha in the Eastern Cape, where he and his friends were enjoying themselves.
In recent years, South Africa has had its fair share of disasters (Afrikaans: “rampe”).

Letters - May 2020

My chains are gone I've been set free My God, my Saviour has ransomed me And like a flood, His mercy rains Unending love, Amazing Grace
Read More Maj-Gen Tertius Geldenhuys (7 May 1955 to 14 April 2020)
The South African Police Service mourns the tragic loss of Maj-Gen Tertius Geldenhuys who passed away on 14 April 2020.
Oom Piet Kleu, a 94-year-old former provincial road traffic inspector, invited by Daniel Seevaraj, a former police member who also became a prominent senior Pietermaritzburg road traffic inspector, graced our presence at our last meeting of retired police officers at Chistlehurst Academics and Arts.
Read More Huldeblyk - Jan Willem (Toffie) Jansen van Vuuren (6 Januarie 1952 - 18 Maart 2020)
”Dis die enigste manier om vooruit te gaan in die lewe - studeer, studeer, studeer … Studies gee vir mens kennis, en kennis is mag.”
May Magazine Cover

Servamus' Mission

Servamus is a community-based safety and security magazine for both members of the community as well as safety and security practitioners with the aim of increasing knowledge and sharing information, dedicated to improving their expertise, professionalism and service delivery standards. It promotes sound crime management practices, freedom of speech, education, training, information sharing and a networking platform.