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

Volume 32 Number 3
  • ISSN : 1011-8527


The court in S v Mosikili 2019 (1) SACR 705 (GP) at paras [16] et seq employed the triad of Zinn (S v Zinn 1969 (2) SA 537 (A) at 540G–H), before deciding to replace the sentence of imprisonment, imposed by the regional court, with correctional supervision. The facts are detailed below – see Murder. The court considered the crime serious (at para [18]), but also considered the events leading to the crime, concluding that the deceased had contributed to ‘his own demise’ (at para [24]). As to the offender’s personal circumstances, it was mitigating that he was, at 58 years of age, the primary breadwinner of his family (at para [26]), a first offender (at para [27] – ‘highly valued as a mitigating factor’), with the motive to end the deceased’s drawn-out terrorism of the family, and he was considered remorseful (at para [31]). In addition, he experienced ‘intense emotional suffering’ because of what he had done (at para [29]), to such an extent that the court accepted that he was ‘already serving a sentence’. In other words, it concluded, there ‘is little or no need for retribution in this case’ (at para [29]). The court also concluded, given the ‘unique circumstances and motivation for the crime’, that the chances of recidivism were remote (at para [30]). Also, because the appellant ‘lacks coping mechanisms’, correctional supervision provided a better chance of getting appropriate treatment than other sentences (at para [32]). The court’s equation of this treatment as achieving ‘the goal of rehabilitation’ can be criticised, but this is best left for another day.

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