- S v Kubheka and Another (200/2020)  ZASCA 25 (24 March 2021) (SCA)
In Ask Pollex in Servamus: May 2016 and February 2018, Pollex discussed the meaning of remote jamming*, as well as whether a security officer, duly registered with PSiRA* may arrest an offender without a warrant for remote jamming-related offences.
In the May 2016 discussion, Pollex described remote jamming as follows, namely that, “when the lawful driver/owner of a vehicle parks his or her vehicle and then presses the button on his or her own lawful remote to lock the vehicle, a thief (the suspect) will be close by and will be repeatedly pressing the button on a hidden remote device of his or her own, which overwhelms the airwaves in the area and blocks the signal of the lawful driver/owner’s remote to the vehicle”.
At the time of the 2016 and 2018 discussions referred to supra, Pollex was not aware of any reported case law (decided cases) in this regard.
However, the case of S v Kubheka and Another supra has now been published.
In this case, two accused persons were each convicted in the regional court, Randburg of the theft of a cellphone and an iPod out of a motor vehicle. Accused 1 was sentenced to four years’ incarceration, of which two years were suspended for a period of five years on condition that he was not convicted of theft or any offence involving an element of dishonesty during the period of suspension. Accused 2 was sentenced to four years’ incarceration.
After being granted leave to appeal from the regional court, both accused appealed to the High Court in Johannesburg in respect of both conviction and sentence.
After hearing the appeal, the said High Court dismissed the appeal against conviction. As far as the sentences are concerned, the High Court increased the sentence of accused 1 to five years’ direct incarceration, and that of accused 2 to eight years’ direct incarceration.
Both accused thereupon petitioned the Supreme Court of Appeal (“the SCA”) for leave to appeal to it (the SCA) where they were, however, granted leave to appeal against sentences only.