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Specific Crimes

Course outline - Criminal Law B

Assignment: Friday 5 September @ 12h00
Test: Tuesday 14 October during lecture

Prescribed Textbooks
J Burchell Principles of Criminal Law 3rd ed (2005)
CR Snyman Criminal Law 5th ed (2008)

Recommended Textbooks
J Burchell and J Milton Principles of Criminal Law 2nd ed (1997)
J Burchell and J Milton Cases and Materials on Criminal Law (1997)

Recommended Textbooks
EM Burchell and PMA Hunt South African Criminal Law and Procedure, Vol I: General Principles of Criminal Law, 3rd ed (1997) JRL Milton South African Criminal Law and Procedure, Vol II: Common Law Crimes, 3rd ed (1996)


CR Snyman Criminal Law 4th ed (2002) at pp. 303-304.

Criminal Law (Sexual Offences and Related Matters) Amendment Act No. 32 of 2007. Criminal Law Amendment Act 105 of 1997. Masiya v DPP (Pretoria) & Others 2007 (8) BCLR 827 (CC) S v Mshumpa 2008 (1) SACR 126 (E)


1. classification according to the origin of the offence i.e. common law / statute; and 2. classification according to the interests protected.

Traditional tripartite division of crimes:

1. Crimes against the State and Community generally 2. Crimes against Person 3. Crimes against Property.

Snymans Classification:
1. 2. Crimes against the State & Administration of Justice Crimes against the Community
Sexual Crimes Family Public Welfare


Crimes against the Person

Life Bodily Integrity (incl. sexual offences) Dignity & Reputation Freedom of Movement


Crimes against Property

Appropriation etc. Fraud etc. Damage to Property.

Deficiencies of Classification
According to Snyman usually more than one interest being infringed by the crime in question e.g. Robbery Snyman suggests crimes be classified according to the dominant interests which are protected, or the interests to which such crimes generally relate.


Origins of the Common Law see Burchell & Hunt South African Criminal Law and Procedure, Vol I: General Principles 2 ed (1983) chapter 2

Common Law & Statutory Law:

where the Legislature makes provision for what is already a crime under the existing law, the common law is not repealed, unless the intention to repeal it is clear from the express words of the legislature, or by necessary implication from the language used. (R v Roberts 1908 TS 279 at 283)

Common Law & Statutory Law:

Now provided for by S.336 of the Criminal Procedure Act 51 of 1977: Where an act or omission constitutes an offence under two or more statutory provisions or is an offence against a statutory provision and the common law, the person guilty of such act or omission shall, unless the contrary intention appears, be liable to be prosecuted and punished under either statutory provision or, as the case may be, under the statutory provision or the common law, but shall not be liable to more than one punishment for the act or omission constituting the offence.

Next Lecture: Codification of Common Law Crimes

CR Snyman A Draft Criminal Code for South Africa (Book Review) (1997) 10 SACJ 303. CR Snyman Codifying the Criminal Law the Australian Experience (2000) 13 SACJ 214.

Next Lecture: Treason

See CR Snyman Criminal Law 5th ed (2008) at pp. 309 317 See J Burchell Principles of Criminal Law 3rd ed (2005) chapters 80-81.