oa Comparative and International Law Journal of Southern Africa - Stealing from a bank account



An opportunity to reflect upon the interaction of banking and criminal law principles has been provided by a recent decision in the High Court of Swaziland. In the case of Rex v Alpheus Dlamini, the Chief Justice of Swaziland, Mr Justice Nathan, sentenced the accused to a fine of E5OO or in default of payment one year's imprisonment. In addition the accused was sentenced to two years' imprisonment suspended for three years on condition that he was not found guilty of any offence of which fraud or theft is an element, committed during the period of suspension. In this short article, the author takes issue with the decisions of both the trial and high courts. In particular the author attempts to show that on the basis of the existing criminal law and banking principles, the conviction of the accused as charged was not warranted. Secondly, the author argues that in the special circumstances of the case, the crown could not have secured a conviction on any other basis.


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