oa De Jure - S v Matyityi 2011 1 SACR 40 (SCA) : compliance with mandatory sentencing, and placing the victim at the centre of the criminal justice system : recent case law
In the case of S v Matyityi 2011 1 SACR 40 (SCA), the SCA emphasized the importance of a victim-centred approach to sentencing. The SCA held that by accommodating the victim during the sentencing phase, the court would be better informed about the impact of the crime on the victim, and thus better able to achieve proportionality and balance between the interests of society and of the accused. In the judgment, the SCA also commented on the need for courts to comply with prescribed sentencing legislation - observing that prescribed sentences are frequently deviated from for the flimsiest of reasons. The SCA found this to have been the case in the court a quo, where the accused's age and purported remorse were incorrectly regarded as "substantial and compelling circumstances" justifying a deviation from the prescribed minimum sentence. The SCA considered that the court a quo had also erred in failing to take account of the accused's previous conviction, and in finding that the rape victim had sustained no injuries.
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