n South African Journal of Criminal Justice - Sentencing : recent cases

Volume 27, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 1011-8527
  • E-ISSN: 1996-2118



There is no absolute line between culpability and non-culpability (CR Snyman 5ed (2008) 176). This is confirmed by the existence of the concept of diminished responsibility, (a 'tussenposisie', according to A Kruger and VG Hiemstra 7ed (2010) 245), which is not a defence, but provides for reduction in sentence. The offender's mental and emotional state at the time of the commission of an offence may be affected by a variety of either pathological or non-pathological factors (S Terblanche 2ed (2007) 198-199). In the latter instance factors such as provocation, rage or jealousy may influence the offender to the extent that his or her power of restraint or self-control, compared to a normal person, is substantially reduced.

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