- S V Myeni 2019(1) SACR 360 (ECG)
Relevant legal provisions
Sections 86, 87, 88 and 89 of the Electronic Communications and Transactions Act (ECT) 25 of 2002* (hereinafter referred to as Act 25 of 2002) provide as follows:
“Unauthorised access to, interception of or interference with data
86.(1) Subject to the Interception and Monitoring Prohibition Act 127 of 1992, a person who intentionally accesses or intercepts any data without authority or permission to do so, is guilty of an offence.
(2) A person who intentionally and without authority to do so, interferes with data in a way which causes such data to be modified, destroyed or otherwise rendered ineffective, is guilty of an offence.
(3) A person who unlawfully produces, sells, offers to sell, procures for use, designs, adapts for use, distributes or possesses any device, including a computer program or a component, which is designed primarily to overcome security measures for the
protection of data, performs any of those acts with regard to a password, access code or any other similar kind of data with the intent to unlawfully utilise such item to contravene this section, is guilty of an offence.
(4) A person who utilises any device or computer program mentioned in subsection (3) [supra] in order to unlawfully overcome security measures designed to protect such data or access thereto, is guilty of an offence.
(5) A person who commits any act described in this section  with the intent to interfere with access to an information system so as to constitute a denial, including a partial denial, of service to legitimate users is guilty of an offence.
Computer-related extortion, fraud and forgery
87.(1) A person who performs or threatens to perform any of the acts described in section 86 [supra], for the purpose of obtaining any unlawful proprietary advantage by undertaking to cease or desist from such action, or by undertaking to restore any damage caused as a result of those actions, is guilty of an offence.
(2) A person who performs any of the acts described in section 86 [supra] for the purpose of obtaining any unlawful advantage by causing fake data to be produced with the intent that it be considered or acted upon as if it were authentic, is guilty of an offence.
Attempt, and aiding and abetting [in Afrikaans text: ‘Poging en hulpverlening’]
88.(1) A person who attempts to commit any of the offences referred to in sections 86 and 87 [supra] is guilty of an offence and is liable on conviction to the penalties set out in section 89(1) or (2) [infra], as the case may be.
(2) Any person who aids and abets someone to commit any of the offences referred to in sections 86 and 87 [supra] is guilty of an offence and is liable on conviction to the penalties set out in section 89(1) or (2) [infra], as the case may be.
89.(1) A person convicted of an offence referred to in sections 37(3), 40(2), 58(2), 80(5). 82(2) or 86(1), (2) or (3) [of this Act 25 of 2002] is liable to a fine or imprisonment for a period not exceeding 12 months.
(2) A person convicted of an offence referred to in section 86(4) or (5) or section 87 [supra] is liable to a fine or imprisonment for a period not exceeding five years.”
(Particulars in square brackets inserted by Pollex.)
The sections supra must of course be read with the word definition of “data” as it appears in section 1 of this Act 25 of 2002 namely, that, “data means electronic representations of information in any form”.