Criminal law and procedure : cross-appeal by the State : prescribed minimum sentence for robbery involving the taking of a motor vehicle not considered by the trial court or this court in the hearing of the convicted person’s appeal : s 51 (2) of the Criminal Law Amendment act 105 of 1997 : cross-appeal succeeds : prescribed minimum sentence of 15 years’ imprisonment imposed, 10 of which ordered to run concurrently with the 18 years imposed on the count of murder : effective sentence 23 years’ imprisonment
Criminal Procedure – appeal against conviction – leave to appeal refused by magistrate – petition refused by the courts a quo – special leave to appeal against conviction granted by the Supreme Court of Appeal – Section 309 of the Criminal Procedure Act – whether leave to appeal ought to have been granted.
Evidence – pointing-out – trial-within-a trial – after pointing out ruled admissible, no evidence in record to prove contents of pointing-out – such evidence either not led or, if led, lost and not capable of being reconstructed – no admissible evidence implicating appellant in commission of offences – convictions and sentences set aside.
Criminal procedure – refusal of discharge in terms of s 174 – court a quo did not act irregularly by refusing discharge – there was evidence on which a reasonable court might convict.
Criminal procedure – reopening of the State’s case – State failed to establish grounds for reopening – court a quo’s decision to allow reopening irregular (Mokgohloa AJA and Mbatha AJA dissenting).
Criminal procedure – whether State proved beyond reasonable doubt that appellant shot deceased and that deceased did not commit suicide – excluding evidence adduced pursuant to irregular reopening, such guilt established (Gorven AJA, Cachalia JA concurring, Rogers AJA dissenting)
On all the evidence, including evidence adduced pursuant to reopening, such guilt established (Mbatha AJA, Mokgohloa concurring).
Sentence – 12 years’ imprisonment strikingly inappropriate – mitigating circumstances, including prolonged abuse – appellant not a danger to society – matter remitted to trial court for reconsideration of sentence in terms of s 276(1)(h).
Company: Shareholders: Oppression: Oppressive or Unfairly Prejudicial Conduct: Section 252 of the Companies Act 61 of 1973: party entitled to remedy under s 252: member is someone whose name has been entered in the company’s register of members as contemplated in s 105 of the Companies Act. Locus standi: Beneficial owners of shares in a company not eligible to join as co-applicants with relevant nominees holding the shares on their behalf and subject to their instructions.
Decision by Acting National Director of Public Prosecutions to discontinue prosecution – whether decision wanting for invocation and reliance on inapposite provision of the Constitution– whether decision rational – manner in which NPA conducted litigation deserving of judicial censure.
Rescission of default judgment –– Uniform Rules of Court 31(2)(a) and (b) –court of appeal may only interfere if power not properly exercised – court a quo erred - bona fide defence – carries prima facie reasonable prospects of success – appeal succeeds with costs.
Law of Delict – Damages – appellant falling off the train and sustaining bodily injuries when jostled by fellow passengers – claim based on negligent omission – negligence proved – dissent – appellant injured not by train on which he had fallen off – no proof of patrimonial or legal causation of harm.
Appeal against costs – s 16(2)(a)(i) and (ii) of the Superior Courts Act 10 of 2013 – whether there are exceptional circumstances justifying a consideration of the matter with reference to the issue of costs – whether the Land Claims Court properly exercised its discretion in relation to the award of costs – appeal dismissed with costs.
Forfeiture of property : Section 50(1) of the Prevention of Organised Crime Act 121 of 1998 : whether property, a lifting platform and equipment alleged to have been stolen, susceptible to seizure : whether NDPP ought to have become involved in commercial dispute.