n Annual Survey of South African Law - Criminal law

Volume 2006, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0376-4605



An appeal against numerous convictions, including culpable homicide, by an appellant disputing that he had possessed criminal capacity due to intoxication, was rejected by Froneman J in 2006 (1) SACR 442 (E). The appellant, a truck driver, spent the afternoon of 30 August 1998 drinking at the driver's rest quarters in Walmer, Port Elizabeth. The appellant and four others drank at least three bottles of brandy. A fight broke out between him and one of the four, after which he grabbed and pulled on some electrical wires. He then climbed into his truck and drove for about 50 kilometres on public roads, breaking through a seven meter security gate and knocking a tree out of the ground. He drove on the wrong side of the road or highway on several occasions and eventually, while on the wrong side of the road, collided with a BMW, killing the driver. The appellant continued driving and was discovered some 4.4 kilometres further, with his head slumped over, and the engine still running. The appellant was charged and convicted in a magistrate's court of several crimes; including driving under the influence; damage to property and culpable homicide. He appealed against his various convictions and sentences.

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