1887

oa Litnet Akademies : 'n Joernaal vir die Geesteswetenskappe, Natuurwetenskappe, Regte en Godsdienswetenskappe - Die tergende toekoms van provokasie as verweer in die Suid-Afrikaanse strafreg : regte

Volume 10, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 1995-5928

 

Abstract

Misdaadbeskuldigdes in Suid-Afrika het etlike beskikbare verwere om op die afwesigheid van die misdaadselemente handeling, kousaliteit, wederregtelikheid, toerekeningsvatbaarheid en, uiteindelik, skuld te dui. Een verweer om toerekeningsvatbaarheid uit te skakel is provokasie, oftewel tartende gedrag wat 'n opwelling van aggressie ontlok. Die omstrede -uitspraak van 2002 het egter die toekoms van provokasie as verweer in Suid-Afrika dermate in gedrang gebring dat sommige tans glo dat dit geheel en al afgeskaf is. In hierdie oorsig van strafregtelike aanspreeklikheid met die klem op toerekeningsvatbaarheid word daar eerstens tussen patologiese en niepatologiese ontoerekeningsvatbaarheid onderskei en word die verskil tussen die ontoegeeflike, toegeeflike en middewegbenadering tot provokasie toegelig ten einde dié verweer in perspektief te stel. Daarna volg 'n studie van die belangrikste onskuldigbevindings in Suid-Afrikaanse howe op grond van niepatologiese ontoerekeningsvatbaarheid vanweë provokasie wat van 'n toegeeflike benadering getuig. 'n Bespreking van die -uitspraak verklaar dan waarom dit wil voorkom of die Suid-Afrikaanse strafreg sedertdien 'n ontoegeeflike rigting met betrekking tot provokasie ingeslaan het. Vir 'n vergelykende beskouing word die Suid-Afrikaanse situasie teenoor die hantering van provokasie in die onderskeie strafregstelsels van Kanada en Australië (Queensland) gestel. Dit blyk dat albei lande die middewegbenadering tot provokasie as verweer volg: provokasie word nie as algemene verweer beskou nie, maar kan aangevoer word om 'n moordklag tot strafbare manslag te verminder. In albei gevalle dien die redelike persoon as maatstaf vir 'n beslissing oor provokasie. Die vraag ontstaan dus waarom die Suid-Afrikaanse howe tussen die twee uiterstes van die toegeeflike en ontoegeeflike benadering bly wik en weeg. Die middewegbenadering, wat hoofsaaklik voor 1971 in die land toegepas is en destyds grotendeels met die huidige vereistes in Kanada en Australië ooreengestem het, is immers 'n billike, gematigde alternatief. Die artikel kom dus tot die gevolgtrekking dat die toepassing van die middewegbenadering in Suid-Afrika die plaaslike hantering van provokasie in pas met buitelandse jurisdiksies sou bring, en vir meer regsekerheid en billiker eindresultate as die toegeeflike en ontoegeeflike benadering sou sorg.


Those charged with a crime in South Africa have various means of defence at their disposal in order to prove the absence of the elements of crime, namely conduct, causation, unlawfulness, criminal capacity and, eventually, culpability. One such defence to rule out criminal capacity is provocation, which essentially involves provoking actions that elicit an outburst of rage and aggression. In this regard a question that often arises in court, and has, in fact, been the subject of much debate, is the degree of significance that should be attached to provocation in determining criminal liability. The controversial judgement in of 2002 has jeopardised the future of provocation as a defence in South Africa to such an extent that some currently believe that it no longer exists.
This article starts with a brief review of criminal liability, with the emphasis on criminal capacity. A clear distinction is drawn between pathological and non-pathological criminal incapacity in order to delineate clearly the focus of this research, namely non-pathological criminal incapacity caused particularly by provocation and emotional stress. Next the unyielding, lenient and middle-course approaches to provocation are compared. In the unyielding approach, provocation and emotional stress cannot be viewed as a defence and may, at most, lead to mitigation of punishment. According to the lenient approach it is accepted that provocation or emotional stress may lead to non-pathological criminal incapacity and may thus serve as an absolute defence. The middle-course approach contains elements of both: like the unyielding approach, it does not regard provocation and emotional stress as an absolute defence, but does believe that a substantial degree of provocation may indeed lead to conviction of a less serious crime - such as culpable homicide instead of murder.
The choice of approach usually relates closely to the theory of fault to which a country subscribes, with the primary distinction being that between the normative theory and the psychological theory of fault. In terms of the normative theory of fault, a person's conduct is measured against a particular objective standard beyond himself. Should he fail to meet this standard, it points to culpability. Countries favouring this theory of fault tend to adopt the unyielding approach to criminal incapacity due to provocation. The basis of the psychological theory of fault, on the other hand, is a subjective test: culpability is established by the person's mental state, without assessing his conduct against an objective standard. Countries favouring this theory of fault normally follow the lenient approach to the issue of provocation.

Loading full text...

Full text loading...

Loading

Article metrics loading...

/content/litnet/10/2/EJC141461
2013-08-01
2016-12-10

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error